Nepal | September 24, 2020

Fuel black-marketing to take a toll on income, economy

Rupak D Sharma
Share Now:

Department of Commerce and Supply Management unable to control illegal trading of fuel

Kathmandu, November 18

Roshan Thapa of Bhainsipati does not panic when it is time to go to office these days. Reason: he has recently refuelled his car and will have no problem commuting for at least 10 more days. Soon after the fuel crisis hit the country in mid-September, Thapa had started cycling to office.

“That was not fun,” says the 40-year-old. “And the worst part was the journey back home as I had to cycle uphill from Nakkhu area, which was pretty tiring.”

After around two weeks of cycling, his dad arranged him some fuel, which lasted for a few days.

Around that time Nepal Oil Corporation, which had temporarily banned private vehicles from purchasing fuel, opened fuel stations for private vehicles for a day. But Thapa chose not to visit any fuel station ‘because of very long queues’.

“If I had stayed in the queue, I would have missed office,” he says. “Also, staying in those long lines did not make sense as NOC’s supply was not enough for everyone present at fuel stations.”

Then after the Dashain vacation Thapa did what he had long avoided: tap the black-market for fuel.

“It cost me Rs 400 per litre, which is a lot,” he says, without identifying people engaged in illegal trade. What Thapa paid for petrol is almost four times the current market price. But Thapa is not the only one who is paying exorbitant amount to purchase fuel from the black market.

No wonder, roads in Kathmandu are once again filled with private vehicles although NOC has opened fuel stations for private vehicles only twice since the fuel crisis hit the country. This practice of paying huge sums of money to purchase fuel illegally brought into the country from various border points has now become a norm for many who choose convenience over cost.

But this tendency is expected to grow frustration among people once they start realising that they are being forced to cut down on many other expenses just to cover excessive fuel bills.

This frustration is expected to further increase once they come to know that their salaries are not likely to go up in the near future because revenue sources of many enterprises have tapered due to fuel crisis. This will make people feel that they are getting poorer.

This implies black-marketing has to be stopped immediately, as it can take a toll on personal income and the economy.

“In general, black-marketing weakens fundamentals of rule-based market economy, where regulations should be paramount. So, inability to control black marketing can be detrimental to the economy,” says Swarnim Wagle, senior economist and former member of the National Planning Commission.

The Department of Commerce and Supply Management knows this. But it has not been able to do much to control illegal trading of fuel. “We know black marketing has to be immediately stopped and we have been trying to bust rackets operating here. But we have not been able to find one so far,” says DoCSM Director Hari Narayan Belbase.

A version of this article appears in print on November 19, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Photo Gallery: People wait days to get tested for COVID-19 at Teku

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 23 Labourers along with their families who arrived in Kathmandu from India and other regions of Nepal, four-days ago, sleep on the floor of Teku Hospital premise, waiting their turns to get testedpast midnight. Pictures taken by Skanda Gautam for The Himalayan Times. Read More...

BTS to perform everyday for a week on Jimmy Fallon's show starting September 28

KATHMANDU: K-pop juggernaut BTS is all set to perform every night for a week on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon from September 28. According to The Korea Times, the show announced the special 'BTS Week' on Septmeber 22. The group ― comprising RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V a Read More...

India's narcotics cell summon Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Rakul Preet Singh

KATHMANDU: In the latest development of the drug case related to the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India on September 23 issued summons to four stars from Bollywood — Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shradhha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh. T Read More...

Bollywood actress Payal Ghosh files FIR against filmmaker Anurag Kashyap for rape

KATHMANDU: Bollywood actress Payal Ghosh has filed an FIR against filmmaker Anurag Kashyap accusing him of rape, wrongful restrain, wrongful confinement and outraging the modesty of a woman. According to IANS, Ghosh's lawyer Nitin Satpute shared details of the FIR in a statement in the early hou Read More...

Nepal denies claims of construction by Chinese side within its territory

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has denied claims of construction of buildings by China within Nepali territory between Nepal-China boundary pillars. Issuing a statement on Wednesday, MoFA stated that it has taken note of media reports on alleged construction between Nepal-China Read More...

Chinese encroachment in Humla? China denies it, so does MoFA

Buildings have been built at a distance of around two kilometres from the border in Lapcha Limi area of Namkha Rural Municipality in Humla: NC lawmaker Rangamati Shahi KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 23 China has allegedly built at least nine buildings on Nepali land near Nepal-China border in Humla distri Read More...

Supreme Court tells government not to induct Gautam in Cabinet

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 23 The Supreme Court today ordered the government not to induct Bamdev Gautam in the Cabinet or assign him any such post till the apex court issued another order in the case. Gautam was recently nominated to the National Assembly by the president on the government’s recommend Read More...

Overnight wait for PCR test for scores

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 23 Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital at Teku has been seeing a surge in the number of people visiting the hospital for polymerase chain reaction test. The number of people visiting the hospital for the tests has drastically increased after the government al Read More...