Petro dealers likely to postpone protest

Kathmandu, June 30

Petroleum dealers are likely to postpone their protest programme until the probe report of the government is unveiled.

Releasing a statement last week, the Bagmati Petroleum Dealers’ Association (BPDA) had said that they would stop distribution of petroleum products from July 4 if Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) failed to increase the amount that was being adjusted for loss during fuel transportation.

According to officials of NOC, dealers associated with the BPDA who had threatened to stop purchasing fuel from July 4 demanding a hike in loss commission, have hinted that they will postpone their protest programme until the technical committee of the government determines the actual amount of loss incurred while transporting fuel.

The BPDA, which has almost 300 fuel stations under its umbrella, had submitted a memorandum to NOC last week threatening to stop purchasing petrol from NOC from July 4 if NOC did not increase the loss compensation per cent for dealers.

“The meeting between NOC and fuel dealers associated with BPDA on Thursday ended on a positive note. Dealers are also willing to wait for the probe report on actual loss incurred,” said Sitaram Pokharel, spokesperson for NOC.

Following the claim made by dealers that they have been bearing huge technical loss while transporting fuel from different depots of NOC, the government had formed a probe committee last week under the coordination of Bishwo Babu Pudasaini, director general of Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM).

Submitting their memorandum to NOC, petroleum dealers had claimed that they have been facing loss of around 99 litres on the purchase of each 4,000-litre tanker from NOC. Under the current provision of NOC, the corporation allows deduction of only 35 litres of petrol and 26 litres of diesel on every 4,000 litres of fuel supplied to dealers via NOC’s oil depots.

Officials of NBSM have said that the technical committee led by Pudasaini is preparing the report and will submit it to the board of NOC soon. However, NBSM is likely to delay the probe as its director general who is the coordinator of the technical committee has been deployed for the local elections and vote counting by the government.

Meanwhile, the Bagmati Petroleum Dealers’ Association has called its central committee meeting on Saturday to decide over its protest starting July 4. “We expect NBSM to submit the report as soon as possible. However, the central committee meeting on Saturday will take a decision on our next move,” stated Achyut Bahadur Khadka, president of BPDA.

NOC Spokesperson Pokharel said that NOC will revise the loss commission for petroleum dealers as per the probe report of NBSM.