Nepal | June 07, 2020

Black marketing of fuel rampant

Laxmi Gautam
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Phidim, October 31

As fuel crisis deepens across the country with Madhes based parties blockading the border points for over a month now, black marketing of petroleum products is on the rise in Panchathar and various other places in the eastern hills of late.

According to the locals, petrol and diesel are sold for up to three times the actual prices in Panchthar’s Phidim, Yasok, Ravi, Ghurbise Panchami, Gopetar, Tharpu and Amarpur and Ilam’s Mangalbare and Raxe and Terhathum’s Aathrai and various places of Taplegunj.

Petrol and diesel are brought to these markets from Pashupatinagar of Ilam and Kakarbhitta of Jhapa. Though passenger vehicles are provided up to 50 litres of diesel every day on the recommendation of the district administration, vehicle owners say the amount of fuel provided to them is not enough.

“If we do not buy fuel in the black market, we will have to keep our vehicles grounded,” said Mohan Limbu of Phidim.

Rohan Shrestha, who brought fuel from Pashupatinagar to Phidim to sell it in the black market, said he had to bring the fuel evading the eyes of the security personnel. “We charge more as it is a risky business. Moreover, we are always in constant fear of being arrested by the police,” he argued.

Meanwhile, Chief District Officer of Panchthar, Purushottam Ghimire, claimed that he has no knowledge of any such activities in the district. “We have not received any such complaint, but we will investigate and take action if we find anyone guilty of black marketing petroleum products,” he vowed.

A version of this article appears in print on November 01, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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