Gayleena Pradhan | Intern

Runaway price of fuel, especially diesel, has become the talk of the time. But are petrol and diesel becoming dearer? Are we paying the highest price?

The fuel price has jumped by about 90 percent compared to last June, but Bhutan is not the most fuel-expensive country. Petrol price is now Nu 100.34 per litre and diesel Nu 115.73 in the capital. At this price, it costs about Nu 3,511 to fill a family’s petrol Alto car with a 35-litre tank capacity and Nu 4,050 with diesel.

Among the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries, fuel is cheaper here compared with Nepal. Nepal has the highest fuel prices in the SAARC region at Nu 124 per litre, 199 Nepali Rupee for petrol and Nu 119 for diesel as of June 23 which is 192 Nepali Rupee. Petrol is cheaper in Thimphu than in Mumbai, India, where a litre cost Nu 111.35. 

Sri Lanka is in an economic crisis where fuel is in short supply. But petrol at Nu 91.05 and diesel at Nu 86.71 is cheaper in the island nation. Both petrol and diesel are also cheaper in Bangladesh.  A litre of petrol yesterday in Dhaka, Bangladesh was Nu 91.58 and diesel Nu 80.36 

In war-torn Afghanistan, petrol is at the 2020 Thimphu price with a litre costing only Nu 74.43 and diesel Nu 77.56 

Among the oil-producing countries, Iran (petrol- Nu 4.14, diesel- Nu 0.86) has the cheapest price followed by Kuwait (petrol- Nu 26.59, Diesel- 29.33) and Kazakhstan (petrol- Nu 31, diesel- 41)

It cost Nu 202 for a litre of both petrol and diesel in Norway. Norway has the most expensive fuel price among the oil-exporting countries followed by Ukraine (petrol-Nu134, diesel- 148) and the United States of America (petrol-107, diesel- 118). 

Russia is currently selling fuel to its citizens at Nu 72 and Nu 75 for petrol and diesel respectively. Saudi Arabia is selling fuel at an even cheaper rate than that. That is Nu 48 and Nu 13 for petrol and diesel respectively.

Hong Kongers are paying the highest price in the world. It cost Nu 223 for a litre of petrol and Nu 216 for diesel.  This means it would typically cost Nu 10,035 to fill up a car with a 35-litre capacity. The fuel quality is also better in developed countries.

Cheaper than  bottled water

On the other extreme, Venezuela offers fuel to its citizens for less than the price of bottled water. A litre of petrol is Nu 2.34 and diesel Nu 1.716. Venezuela has the cheapest rate of fuel since it is home to some of the biggest oil reserves in the world.

Even though the price of fuel changes constantly in other countries, Bhutan’s price changes bi-monthly as per the memorandum of understanding between Bhutan and India.

There are differences in the fuel price across the country due to the transportation charges. Bumthang has the highest fuel price (petrol – Nu 103.16, diesel- Nu 118.47) and Samtse has the lowest (petrol- Nu 97, diesel- Nu 112.59).

In comparison to February this year there has been a rise of Nu 21 and Nu 37 in petrol and diesel respectively.