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Nepal rolls back fuel price hike

Nepal Govt has been forced to withdraw its decision to hike the price of diesel and kerosene as the decision sparked nationwide violent protests, reports Anirban Roy.

world Updated: Jan 23, 2008 23:39 IST
Anirban Roy

Nepal government was forced to withdraw its decision to hike the price of diesel on Wednesday, kerosene and cooking gas as the decision sparked nationwide violent protests.

The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has been directed to roll back the price hike through an emergency ministerial-level decision, Civil Supplies Minister Shyam Sundar Gupta told Hindustan Times.

The capital of Kathmandu was under siege for the second day on Wednesday as student groups, trade unions and angry citizens continued their protests against the government's decision to hike prices of petroleum products.

The student wings of the political parties have been demonstrating across Kathmandu Valley from early morning, and smashed dozens of vehicles for ignoring their call to stay off the road.

The protestors blocks roads by burning tyres and demanded resignation of Gupta. The city looked like a battleground as students pelted bricks at the armed policemen.

“We had to roll back the price hike as we thought the nationwide protests could even affect the Constituent Assembly elections,” Gupta claimed, adding that the Finance Ministry would make necessary arrangements for recovering the NOC's losses.

Normal life in the capital and other major towns across the country were crippled for the second consecutive day on Wednesday before the rollback. Schools, colleges, banks, business establishments remained closed.