South Asia

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Petrol price hiked again: Pakistan's government has raised petrol and diesel prices by 14 per cent--the highest ever increase. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority increased the kerosene price from Rs (Pak) 49.73 a litre to Rs (Pak) 57.93; that of light diesel oil from Rs (Pak) 49.05 to Rs (Pak) 58.54; and of petrol by Rs (Pak) 10.97 a litre to Rs (Pak) 86.66. This is the sixth increase in petroleum prices since the new government assumed office in the end of February. The price of petrol then was Rs (Pak) 58.70. The government says it was forced to make the increase because of soaring international oil prices.

Setback for Maoists: Ram Baran Yadav of the Nepali Congress has been elected the first president of Nepal, ending a three-month political deadlock since the abolition of Nepal's 240-year-old monarchy. He was formally sworn in on July 23. Paramanand Jha of the Madhesi People's Rights Forum has been elected the vice-president. Presidential candidate of Nepal's former Maoist rebels who won the maximum vote in the April elections for the Constituent Assembly, lost the race. Talking to the media, Maoists' leader Prachanda said his party would not form a coalition government and would rather sit in the opposition.

No gas for old plants: Major parts of Bangladesh will plunge into darkness as authorities have begun cutting gas supplies to old power plants to ensure efficient use of natural gas, officials said on July 20. By the last week of July, officials of Petrobangla, a state-owned oil, gas and mineral corporation, and Power Development Board had identified 19 units, including Ghorashal 1 and 2, Ashuganj, Shikalbaha and Sahazibazar power plants, that consume more gas but produce less electricity. They have proposed to close down nine of them. With the country's natural gas reserves dwindling fast, the effort is to divert the gas to relatively new and efficient power plants. Bangladesh faces shortage of 250 million cubic feet of gas a day.

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