NPDA told to normalise fuel supply

Kathmandu, August 10

A Parliamentary panel today directed the Nepal Petroleum Dealers’ Association (NPDA) not to halt the supply of petroleum products and start collecting fuel from government’s oil depots as soon as possible.

During a meeting of the Industry, Commerce and Consumer Welfare Committee of the Legislature-Parliament today, lawmakers said that issues related to loss compensation to dealers on fuel transport have to be resolved through mutual understanding, but that consumers should not have to bear the brunt of the spat between the petroleum dealers and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).

Stating that the NOC is reluctant to increase the loss compensation on fuel transport to dealers, NPDA had announced on Wednesday that it would stop collecting petrol from NOC’s depots from today and completely stop collection and sales of both petrol and diesel from Sunday.

The House panel today directed Ministry of Supplies (MoS), NOC and NPDA to jointly come up with a feasible solution to the problem and submit their plan to the committee within 15 days.

“Government officials and representatives from dealers’ association had proposed a temporary way out, but we have directed them to explore a permanent solution,” said Subash Chandra Thakuri, one of the committee members. “Even as this is not a new issue, no one has taken the initiative to figure out a long-term solution.”

NOC had formed two committees to suggest the loss compensation during fuel transport.

Both the committees had recommended to increase loss compensation, which currently stands at 22 litres to 35 litres on transport of 4,000 litres of petrol and 17 litres to 26 litres in transport of same quantity of diesel.

The government had first formed a study panel on June 25 under the coordination of Director General of Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (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 second study panel coordinated by Director of NOC Deepak Baral, however, did not suggest the fixed rate to compensate the dealers.

The panel only recommended that the loss should be compensated according to the region and different seasons.

Meanwhile, NOC’s board meeting was held late in the evening, with the board members agreeing to increase the loss compensation. “However, the compensation quantity is yet to be decided,” informed NOC Spokesperson Sitaram Pokharel.