KATHMANDU: Though the state-oil monopoly has been in the red due to rising petroleum prices, the Nepal Oil Corporation staffers get 60 litres of kerosene for free per month, so do around 200 leaders of political parties. And that too at the cost of tax-payers’ hard earned money. Consumer rights activist Jyoti Baniya said the provision of doling out freebies to the staff and leaders is bleeding the NOC blue.
NOC has around 700 staffers, according to the corporation. Currently, a litre of kerosene costs Rs 68.50, which makes the total monthly cost of 60 litres of kerosene for the entire staff Rs 2.88 million, while the annual loss comes to around Rs 34.52 million. “The provision should be scrapped at the earliest,” Baniya added.
The consumer rights activists also blamed the corporation for providing fuel to the leaders. “Top leaders of political parties and former ministers have been getting petroleum products regularly from the corporation for free,” another rights activist said, advising NOC to cut freebies before claiming the mounting losses.
The NOC has added Rs 49.89 for a cylinder of cooking gas under transportation, insurance, compensation and technical loss, apart from Rs 105.81 for transportation and insurance cost.
Besides, the NOC has revealed technical loss of Re 0.86 on petrol, Re 0.54 on diesel, Re 0.47 on kerosene, Re 0.57 on Air Turbine Fuel and Rs 1.39 on cooking gas.
The President of Gas Dealers’ Federation of Nepal, Gyaneshwor Aryal has sought a probe into the pricing mechanism, adding that NOC can reduce its losses, if it shows readiness to scrap the unnecessary provisions and administrative costs that are irrelevant.
NOC incurred Rs 511.4 million as administrative cost last fiscal, according to Digambar Jha, managing director at the corporation.