Monday, June 20, 2022

Passenger transport, cargo fare up

With a hike in fuel prices, public transportation and cargo fare have also gone up with immediate effect, according to the auto-fare mechanism.

The state oil-monopoly yesterday night jacked up the price of petrol by Rs 21 to Rs 199 and diesel by Rs 26 to Rs 192 per litre, forcing the air and land transportation fare to go up.

The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) today approved the new transport fare in  passenger carriers’ up by 5.30 per cent, whereas for the cargo carriers playing on Terai and hills routes, the fare has been hiked by 7.7 per cent and 6.94 per cent, respectively.

According to the auto-pricing mechanism, the government allows transport entrepreneurs to adjust fares upward or downward when fuel prices fluctuate by 5 per cent.

Thus, along with the rise in the prices of petroleum products, fares of public transport go up, accordingly, or vice versa.

Airlines jack up airfares due to fuel surcharge hike

Airline companies hiked the airfare by up to Rs 1,020 per travel citing recent increase in prices of petroleum products.

The Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN), confirming the increase in fuel surcharge, said that the one-way ticket of Biratnagar-Nepalgunj has been expensive by over Rs 1,000. as the airfare has increased from Rs 8,915 to Rs 9,935.

The state oil monopoly has increased the price of aviation fuel (domestic) by Rs 19 per liter and the aviation turbine (ATF) fuel for international by $100 per kiloliter, effective from Sunday midnight. With the revised prices, these aviation fuels now cost Rs 185 per liter for domestic and $1,645 per kl for international, respectively.

According to the rule, Rs 5 increase or decrease in ATF should adjust the fuel surcharge accordingly, which will impact the airfare directly.

So, the rate of mountain flight from Kathmandu now costs Rs 6,350 per flight, up from Rs 5,695, according to the AOAN. “Likewise, the airfare for Pokhara-Bhadrapur route has increased from Rs 6,720 to Rs 7,490 per travel.”

After Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) raised the fuel prices, the land route transporters have also increased the transport fares of inter-provincial passenger and freight transport by up to 7.7 per cent.

Nepse drops to close below 1,900 points at an 18-month low

The share market has come down to 18 months low below 1900 points, due to selling pressure.

Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) today witnessed a fall of 49.31 points to close it below 1,900 points, an 18 months low mark.

In the two days of trading this week, the market has dropped by over 86 points, according to the Nepse.  The market that opened at 1,934.11 points today went to free fall and closed at 1,884.81 points at the closing of the trading. All the sub-indices – the entire 13 groups – witnessed loss in the day’s trading.

The sensitive index that measures the performance of blue chips shares also went down by 7.66 points,  the Nepse said, adding that today witnessed a turnover of Rs Rs 1.75 billion, an increase from Rs 1.13 billion of yesterday. 

Prabhu Bank promoter share bagged the largest transaction of Rs 118.32 million among individual companies, whereas Terhathum Power Company lost the highest per cent in its share value, and Andhikhola Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha become the highest gainer of the day.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Nepal Oil Corporation jacks up fuel prices to record level

Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has increased the prices of petrol by Rs 21 to Rs 199 per liter and diesel and kerosene by Rs 27 to Rs 192 per litre, effective from midnight.

This is the highest increment ever made by the state oil monopoly, as the bankrupt NOC failed to pay its sole supplier.

Likewise, the corporation has also increased aviation turbine fuel (ATF)-domestic by Rs 19 to Rs 185 per liter, and ATF – international by $100 to Rs $1,645 per kiloliter.

The price of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), popularly known as cooking gas, has not been hiked, though it also incurs loss, according to the NOC that has been incurring losses despite the rise in the petroleum prices. The corporation said that it is incurring a loss of Rs 2.28 billion in LPG alone. A cylinder of LPG now costs Rs 1800.

Claiming that it has hiked the prices of petroleum products in line with the international price, the corporation said it is still facing an extreme financial crisis. The NOC will have Rs 22 billion due to be paid to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for the purchase of petroleum products by June 23.

Despite the hike, the corporation will be facing a monthly loss of around Rs 4.70 billion, it claimed, adding that the accumulated losses have been expected to reach Rs 55 billion by June end.

The continuous rise in the price of petroleum products has pushed the inflation up, beyond the control of the government and central bank.

According to Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the year-on-year consumer price inflation jumped to 7.87 per cent in May, hitting a 69-month high.

The Russia-Ukraine war has affected the international fuel market forcing the global market adjust price. On Thursday (June 16), the sole supplier of fuel to the NOC, IOC had sent an increased price list. According to the new price list sent by IOC on Thursday, the price of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel was increased by Rs 6.52, Rs 19.3 and Rs 91.91 per liter, respectively.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

प्रदेश बजेट: वागमतिभन्दा आधा कम कर्णालीको बजेट

संघले बजेट ल्याएको दुई सातापछि सात प्रदेशले बुधबार आगामी आर्थिक वर्षको लागि कुल ३ खर्ब ५ अर्ब २२ करोडको बजेट ल्याएका छन् । 

प्रदेशमध्ये सबैभन्दा ठूलो आकारको बजेट बागमती प्रदेशको छ भने सबैभन्दा सानो आकारको बजेट कर्णाली प्रदेशले ल्याएको छ । बागमती प्रदेशको कुल बजेट ७० अर्ब ९३ करोड रहेको छ भने सबैभन्दा कम कर्णाली प्रदेशको ३२ अर्ब ६१ अर्ब रहेको छ । 

बागमती प्रदेशले चालू आर्थिक वर्षको तुलनामा आगामी आर्थिक वर्षको लागि १३ अर्ब बढीको बजेट ल्याएको छ । आगामी आर्थिक वर्षको लागि बागमती प्रदेशका आर्थिक मामिला तथा योजनामन्त्री शालिकराम जम्कटेलले ७० अर्ब ९३ करोड विनियोजन गरेका छन् । प्रदेशका आर्थिक मामिला मन्त्रीले कूल बजेटमा चालूतर्फ १९ अर्ब २ करोड, पुँजीगततर्फ ४१ अर्ब ५६ करोड, वित्तीय हस्तान्तरणतर्फ ८ अर्ब २३ करोड विनियोजन गरेका छन् । यस्तै, आगामी आर्थिक वर्षको खर्च व्यहोर्ने स्रोतमा कर राजस्वबाट २६ अर्ब ५७ करोड, अन्य राजस्वबाट ६ अर्ब २२ करोड, संघीय वित्तीय हस्तान्तरणबाट २१ अर्ब ६ करोड र चालू आर्थिक वर्षको सञ्चित कोषको बचतबाट १६ अर्ब व्यहोरिने आर्थिक मामिलामन्त्रीले बताए । 

सबैभन्दा सानो आकारको बजेट ल्याउँदै कर्णाली प्रदेशले आगामी आर्थिक वर्ष २०७९-०८० का लागि ३२ अर्ब ६१ करोड ६१ लाख ६३ हजारको बजेट सार्वजनिक गरेको छ । प्रदेशका आर्थिक मामिला तथा योजनामन्त्री बिन्दमान विष्टले बुधबार प्रदेशसभामा चालूतर्फ ९ अर्ब १६ करोड ९९ लाख तथा पुँजीगततर्फ १९ अर्ब ४३ करोड ५ लाख २४ हजार बजेट विनियोजन गरेको बताए । जसमा आन्तरिक राजस्वबाट ७१ करोड, चालू आर्थिक वर्षको बजेट खर्च नभई बचत हुने ४ अर्ब ५५ करोड, संघीय सरकारबाट राजस्व बाँडफाँटबाट प्राप्त हुने ९ अर्ब २ करोड, वित्तीय सामान्यीकरण अनुदानबाट प्राप्त हुने १० अर्ब ७२ करोड र सशर्त अनुदानबाट प्राप्त हुने ५ अर्ब ६९ करोड परिचालन गर्ने लक्ष्य लिइएको छ ।

हालसम्म नाम राख्न असफल प्रदेश १ सरकारले आगामी आवको लागि ३९ अर्ब ७३ करोड ८३ लाख रुपैयाँको बजेट ल्याएको छ । प्रदेशका आर्थिक मामिला तथा योजनामन्त्री इन्द्रबहादुर आङ्बोले प्रदेशसभामा कुल विनियोजनमध्ये स्थानीय तहमा वित्तीय हस्तान्तरणतर्फ ३ अर्ब १५ करोड १५ लाख र संघीय अनुदान बचत फिर्तातर्फ २ अर्ब रहेको बताए । अनुमानित खर्च व्यहोर्ने स्रोतमध्ये प्रदेश सरकारको आन्तरिक राजस्वबाट ४ अर्ब ९८ करोड, राजस्व बाँडफाँटबाट ११ अर्ब ८८ करोड, संघबाट प्राप्त हुने वित्तीय समानीकरण अनुदानबाट ९ अर्ब ८२ लाख, सशर्त अनुदानबाट ८ अर्ब ६९ करोड, समपूरक अनुदानबाट ९२ करोड र विशेष अनुदानबाट ४७ करोड ५० लाख एवं राजस्व तथा वित्तीय हस्तान्तरणबाट ३५ अर्ब ९६ करोड ६० लाख खर्च व्यहोरिने उनले बताए । अपुग बजेट नगद मौज्दातबाट ३ अर्ब ५१ करोड तथा वैदेशिक अनुदानबाट २५ करोड ६८ लाख व्यहोरिने पनि उनले बताए । 

मधेश प्रदेशले आगामी आर्थिक वर्ष २०७९-०८० को लागि पौने ४७ अर्ब रुपैयाँको बजेट ल्याएको छ । बुधबार प्रदेशसभामा अर्थमन्त्री शैलेन्द्र साहले आगामी आर्थिक वर्षको लागि ४६ अर्ब, ८८ करोड करोड, ९ लाख ४६ हजारको बजेट प्रस्तुत गरेका छन् । जसमा उनले चालूतर्फ २१ अर्ब ७६ करोड रहेको छ भने पुँजीगततर्फ २५ अर्ब ८२ करोड र वित्तीय व्यवस्थापनतर्फ १६ करोड २४ लाख विनियोजन गरेका छन् ।

गण्डकी प्रदेश सरकारले ३५ अर्ब ९० करोड ९० लाख बजेट ल्याएको छ । गण्डकी प्रदेशका आर्थिक मामिला मन्त्री रामजी प्रसाद बरालले आर्थिक वर्ष २०७९-०८०को बजेट प्रस्तुत गर्दै चालूतर्फ १३ अर्ब २६ करोड र पुँजीगततर्फ २२ अर्ब १४ करोड एवं वित्तीय व्यवस्थातर्फ ५० करोड विनियोजन गरेका छन् । केन्द्रको अनुदान १६ अर्ब ५४ करोडबाहेक राजस्व बाँडफाँटबाट ९ अर्ब २३ करोड र आन्तरिक राजस्वबाट ५ अर्ब ९ करोड र रोयल्टीबाट ३२ करोड आयस्रोतको अनुमान उनले गरेका छन् । 

लुम्बिनी प्रदेशका आर्थिक मामिला तथा योजनामन्त्री कृष्णध्वज खड्काले आगामी आर्थिक वर्षको लागी ४२ अर्ब ४३ करोड बजेट ल्याएका छन् । ृउनले चालू खर्चतर्फ १३ अर्ब ३२ करोड र पुँजीगततर्फ २४ अर्ब ४७ करोड विनियोजन गरेका छन् । कुल बजेटमध्ये खर्चको स्रोत तर्फ आन्तरिक राजस्वबाट ३ अर्ब १० करोड, राजस्व बाँडफाँडबाट १५ अर्ब ३५ करोड र रोयल्टीबाट ७० करोड हुने अनुमान पनि उनले गरेका छन् । 

यसैगरि, सुदूरपश्चिम प्रदेश सरकारले आगामी आर्थिक वर्ष २०७९-०८० का लागि ३६ अर्ब ७४ करोड बढीको बजेट ल्याएको छ । प्रदेशका आर्थिक मामिला तथा योजनामन्त्री प्रकाश रावलले बुधबार प्रदेश सभामा अगामी आर्थिक वर्षको लागि १२ अर्ब २९ करोड चालू बजेट तथा २४ अर्ब १४ करोड पँुजीगत बजेट विनियोजन गरेका छन् । यस्तै, अन्तर सरकारी वित्तीय हस्तान्तरणतर्फ १ अर्ब ३६ करोड ४० लाख र वित्तीय व्यवस्थापनतर्फ ३० करोड बजेट विनियोजन गरेका छन् ।

Friday, June 3, 2022

Lawmakers urge to bring Petroleum Act

Lawmakers asked the government to bring the Petroleum Act immediately to also address the current petroleum price hike.

Participating in the discussion of a special proposal registered by the opposition chief whip Bishal Bhattarai, general secretary of the Nepali Congress (NC) and lawmaker Gagan Thapa requested the government to bring the Petroleum Act immediately in the current session of the House to make the fuel business transparent. Suggesting the government to make a petrol, diesel and LP gas free country within 10 years, he said that the government has reduced price of petrol and diesel by Rs 10 per liter but it is not enough. “People should be given relief by further reducing the petroleum price,” he said, asking the government to reduce the taxes levied on petroleum products.

The government monopoly Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) imports and distributes the fuel worth billions without the Petroleum Act, which has helped people doubt on the transparency. The government entities consume more than half the imports, and is suspected leakage on supply. The consumer rights activists have been long asking the government to bring the Petroleum Act to monitor and regulate the billion-rupee petroleum business. However, neither the incumbent government nor the past governments have any interest in bringing the Act.

Registering the special proposal at the House of Representatives today, CPN-UML chief whip Bishal Bhattarai, urged the government to reduce the prices of petroleum products. UML lawmakers also demanded a parliamentary probe committee to study the price increment of petroleum products.

UML lawmaker Yagya Raj Sunuwar also said that the public is suffering due to the hike in fuel prices. Suspecting the decision to hike prices of petroleum products of corruption, he asked it to be investigated by the parliamentary committee. He said that prices of petroleum products were hiked twice in a week contrary to the procedure laid down by the government.

Likewise, other lawmakers and members of UML demanded the government to further lower the prices of petroleum products in the domestic market.

The hike in petroleum prices will push the inflation up as fuel is the most important factor in price hike in the market. According to the central bank, the inflation has been recorded at 7.3 per cent in the nine months of the current fiscal year. The government – in its fiscal policy for the current fiscal year – and central bank – in its Monetary Policy for the current fiscal year, had targetted to keep the inflation under 6.5 per cent. But both the government and central bank failed to crack the whip on rising inflation also due to rising petroleum prices. The petroleum prices have been increasing in the world due to supply disruption and Russia-Ukraine war that seems to end no time sooner.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

World Bank provides $80 million to improve water supply and sanitation services

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved an $80 million project to help Nepal improve the delivery of water and sanitation services and promote integrated water resources management.

“This project aims to strengthen the delivery of water and sanitation services at the local level by building the capacity of municipalities and thereby supporting Nepal’s historic transition to federalism, while at the same time addressing critical gaps in water and sanitation infrastructure that hinder Nepal’s economic progress,” said World Bank country director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos.

The Water Sector Governance and Infrastructure Support Project will be implemented in strategic towns and rural municipalities in Karnali and Sudurpashchim provinces. Both provinces have low access to water supply and sanitation services, a higher incidence of poverty, and are vulnerable to climate change.

The project will help the local governments develop viable institutions to deliver water supply and sanitation services sustainably and efficiently, a press note issued by the multilateral development partner reads. The project will also strengthen the accountability of the sector to customers by building the monitoring and regulatory capacity of provincial and federal government agencies in the sector, it reads, adding that these will be complemented by investments in construction and rehabilitation of vital water supply and sanitation infrastructure, as well as water-quality surveillance facilities and monitoring systems.

“Through this project, we look forward to supporting the government of Nepal’s efforts to transform the water and sanitation by applying best practices in climate resilience, gender equality, social inclusion and citizen engagement – all of which are essential for delivering effective, equitable and inclusive services to local communities,” said Water Resources specialist and the Task Team Leader for the Project Feriha Mukuve Mugisha.