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Nepal: Student Outrage Over Fuel Price Hike

Posted by celticfire84 on December 9, 2010

This was originally in SifyNews.

Students on warpath in Nepal over fuel price hike

Kathmandu, Dec 7 (IANS) For more than five months without a government and no signs yet of the caretaker government convening parliament, Nepal was shaken by renewed violence Tuesday as students went on the warpath against a fresh hike in fuel prices.

Student groups affiliated to the major parties clashed with riot police in various parts of the capital, and security forces charged at them with batons and burst tear smoke cannisters to bring the situation under control.

Enraged protesters targeted government vehicles and set at least one on fire as police arrested eight.

The demonstrations started after the caretaker government of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal announced a fuel price hike Monday.

The state-owned Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), that has a monopoly in buying fuel from India across the border and selling it in Nepal, has been incurring a loss of billions of rupees for nearly a decade now due to the earlier state policy of subsidising petroleum products.

With oil prices rising in the international markets, the cash-strapped Nepal government has been trying to slash the subsidy and adjust domestic market prices.

Monday’s hike, the fifth in a year, makes kerosene, petrol and diesel dearer by NRS 3 per litre while cooking gas cylinders will now cost NRS 75 more.

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