Sunday, 8 June 2008

Bhutah : Fuel price rises record high

June 7: The price of petrol has increased by Nu. 4.45 per litre. The price of diesel has increased by Nu. 2.80 per litre. The price rise came into effect from yesterday.

Petrol will now cost Nu. 47.28. Diesel will cost Nu. 34.59 a litre.This is highest rise in fuel price so far and motorists and the public have expressed concerned about the ripple effect it will have on consumer items including food price.

For lower middle class families who own a Maruti 800 and consume about 10 litres of petrol in a week, it will mean spending Nu. 50 more every week.

But for Taxi drivers, the fuel price hike could affect their livelihood. They use about 10 litres of petrol every day. The hike will cost them about Nu. 1,500 a month. This, they said, will leave them almost nothing to pay the rent and feed their family.

The price hike could also lead to increase in food price. A trucker who brings consumer goods from Phuentsholing to the capital, said earlier with Nu. 2,000 worth of diesel, he could travel to and from Phuentsholing and Thimphu highway. But with the recent price hike, it will cost him about NU. 3,000.

In 2006, Bhutan imported about 20 million litres of petrol and diesel worth more than Nu. two billion from India. The data for 2007 is not yet compiled but with the recent price hike it is certain the figure will rise.

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