Kathmandu, August 9
Stating that Nepal Oil Corporation seems reluctant to increase loss compensation to dealers during fuel transport, fuel dealers have announced a series of protests to pressure the government to increase the fuel loss compensation rate.
As per the protest schedule unveiled by the Nepal Petroleum Dealers’ Association today, fuel dealers across the country will not collect petrol from tomorrow and halt collection of both petrol and diesel, as well as stop selling petroleum products from Sunday, if the government fails to adjust new compensation rate by then.
“The government’s inspection had found a year ago that dealers were facing huge technical loss during transport of every 4,000 litres of fuel from the NOC’s depot to fuel stations. The recent report submitted by the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology had also concluded that dealers were bearing more technical loss in fuel transport than the rate set by NOC,” NPDA President Lilendra Pradhan said, adding that dealers had ‘no choice’ but to announce protests, as NOC and the government seemed to be dilly-dallying in hiking the loss compensation to dealers.
NOC allows fuel loss compensation ranging from 22 to 35 litres on supply of every 4,000 litres of petrol and between 17 and 26 litres for every 4,000 litres of diesel.
The government had first formed a probe panel on June 25 under the coordination of Director General of NBSM Bishwo Babu Pudasaini. The NBSM report had concluded that dealers were facing up to 50 litres of technical loss in petrol and 36 litres in diesel while supplying every 4,000 litres.
The quantity reported by the study panel was, however, much less than ‘at least 99 litres of loss’ claimed by the dealers. As the dealers threatened to stage a strike if the NOC set the loss compensation based on the report, the government had formed another committee under the coordination of NOC Director Deepak Baral to probe the issue extensively.
According to NOC officials, the Baral-led committee submitted its report to the Ministry of Supplies a few days ago but ‘has not determined the actual loss faced by petroleum dealers’.
Meanwhile, a tripartite meeting among the dealers, NOC and MoS officials has been scheduled for tomorrow to resolve the compensation issue.
“Halting supply is not a good move, as it will disrupt normal lives of common citizens. We are in the process of adjusting loss compensation and the NOC board will take a decision soon,” said Sitaram Pokharel, spokesperson for NOC.
Dealers collected 632 kilolitres of petrol and 647 kilolitres of diesel from NOC’s depot today against average regular demand of 550 kilolitres of both petrol and diesel in Kathmandu Valley. This means that dealers will have enough stock of fuel to meet market demand for at least this week.
A version of this article appears in print on August 10, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.