Birat Petroleum announces end of controversial fuel import deal with Nepal Oil Corporation
KATHMANDU: Birat Petroleum Company that was awarded a contract to import petroleum products from India and supply to Nepal Oil Corporation for 15 days amid acute fuel crisis in the country, on Sunday, announced that it has ended the deal following a controversy.
The Birat Petroleum Company published a press statement today to make the announcement, saying in defence that the deal was purely business-oriented but controversy was created to malign the reputation of the company.
"We announce that we abstained from this task after ending the contract with the Nepal Oil Corporation due to the effects of the premeditated and selfish conspiracy," read the statement.
The company further claimed that the state-owned Corporation awarded it the contract as it was the only company to have a clear plan of import, an agreement with the refinery as well as a permission to trade petroleum.
The company also refuted the media reports, which had claimed that the company was blacklisted, explaining it was never involved in such type of business before.
Concluding that the state-owned petroleum supply monopoly awarded the contract to the private company breaching existing laws, the Industry, Commerce and Consumer Welfare Committee of the Legislature-Parliament yesterday instructed the Nepal Oil Corporation to furnish all the documents related to the decision to award a contract to the Birat Petroleum Company.
After evaluating all the bids received through a global tender to supply fuel, NOC had awarded the contract to Kathmandu-based Birat Petroleum and also released Rs 200 million to the company to open a letter of credit in a bid to import fuel just before the Dashain festival.
Birat had made a proposal to bring petrol and diesel from Siliguri of India and quoted Rs 199 for one litre of petrol and Rs 187 for a litre of diesel.
The company explained in the statement that the price was quite higher than the current market rate, owing to abnormal time and context.
It further challenged other companies to import fuel at any lesser rate.