Nepal implementing two-day public holidays to cut fuel consumption

KATHMANDU: In a bid to reduce fuel usage Starting May 15, the Nepal government will extend regular public holidays to two days per week starting from May 15, as the fuel price has risen dramatically in recent months in the country, a cabinet minister said.

"A cabinet meeting on April 26 decided to implement two-day public holidays in a week on a trial basis beginning May 15," said Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, minister for communication and information technology.

As per report, Nepal currently has a one-day public holiday every week on Saturday, but the new law adds Sunday as an extra off-day. The five-day work hours will be revised to 9.30 am. to 5.30 pm., from the current office hours of 10 a.m. to 5 pm., as per the cabinet resolution.

The central bank of Nepal had previously advised the government to introduce two-day public holidays to cut gasoline usage, citing the fact that public mobility is significantly reduced during holidays.

According to the Trade and Export Promotion Centre, fuels are Nepal's most important import, accounting for almost 14% of total merchandise imports in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, which began in mid-July 2021. Fuel costs have risen in Nepal in recent months, as they have in other parts of the world, as a result of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and other circumstances.

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