Saturday, June 24, 2017

Petroleum dealers threaten to stop supplying fuel

The Valleyites could again face the shortage of petroleum products' supply from July 4 due to the row between petroleum distributors and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) over loss compensation.
The Bagmati Petroleum Dealers’ Association – an association of around 300 fuel stations in Kathmandu Valley and neighbouring districts Kavre, Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Dolakha – today announced that it would stop purchasing petrol from NOC from July 4, against the Essential Commodities Control (Authorisation) Act.
Though the Essential Commodities Control (Authorisation) Act has listed petroleum products as essential commodity, the dealers have been repeatedly violating the law by protests and strikes in supply of essential commodities.
"We will not sell petrol from our member fuel stations in Kathmandu Valley and neighbouring districts from July 4,” said president of Bagmati Petroleum Dealers’ Association Achyut Bahadur Khadka.
Fuel stations have been facing loss of around 99 litres on the purchase of 4,000-litre tanker from NOC after it started supplying Euro IV standard petrol from the first week of April, he said, adding that NOC allows deduction of only 35 litres to make up for the loss for every 4,000 litres of petrol and 26 litres deduction for the same volume of diesel. "We have been facing higher loss than what NOC permits us to make up as loss."
NOC pays compensation for 35 liters per chamber as technical loss. But dealers say they have been seeing losses of up to 99 liters per chamber.
Earlier in April, a joint study team of NOC, Nepal Petroleum Dealers Association, and Nepal Bureau of Standard and Metrology had found that tankers were supplying 84 to 99 liters less fuel per chamber. Petroleum tankers have four to five such chambers. Such huge losses were found in tankers that ferried fuel from NOC' Thankot depot to different fuel stations.
Bagmati Petroleum Dealers’ Association has been – for the last two months – demanding that NOC raise the loss quantum. The dispute between the petroleum distributors and NOC has now come to the fore with dealers announcing they will stop purchasing and selling from July 4.
"Dealers are planning to stop distribution to get their demands fulfilled," said spokesperson of the NOC Sitaram Pokharel. "It will hurt the general public," he said, adding that the NOC has raised the loss quantity from 22 litres to 35 on supply of every 4,000 litres of petrol and from 17 to 26 litres for diesel from last August 1. NOC has urged dealers to check the quantity while loading from the depot.
The NOC has, meanwhile, formed a panel led by director general of Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology Bishwo Babu Pudasaini to study the loss to resolve the crisis with dealers.
"NOC may review the loss make-up facility only after the panel submits a report,” Pokharel said, adding that the dealers have, however, alleged that the panel will deliberately delay submission of the report.

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