Consumers deprived of subsidised kerosene

Himalayan News Service

Biratnagar, February 18:

People in the eastern region have been deprived of subsidised kerosene after the Salt Trading Corporation outlets stopped selling the fuel following a change in Nepal Oil Corporation’s policy regarding such some one and a half months ago. The NOC had decided to sell subsidised kerosene through its own dealers instead of the STC outlets which were doing so in the past. The NOC regional office has authorised its 26 dealers to distribute subsidised kerosene but locals say the dealers are not working for the welfare of the common people.

President of the Joint Tole Organisation, Biratnagar, Kedar Karki accused the NOC and the District Supply Committee (DSC) of inaction regarding the distribution of subsidised kerosene.

The DSC secretary and chief of the Commerce Office, Biratnagar, Lalit Bahadur Shrestha said that the ambiguous distribution system, designed by the authority concerned, had caused delay in distribution of the fuel. “We have been told to distribute subsidised kerosene to economically backward people, victims of violence and students but it is very difficult to identify them,” he said. Meanwhile, the Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has protested the NOC decision to allow some NFC outlets to sell subsidised kerosene and not authorise it to select the distributors on its own.

The NFC has written to the NOC saying people will face difficulty in reaching the NFC’s only office in Biratnagar to buy subsidised kerosene, the NFC zonal chief Bedraj Osti said.

The Consumers’ Forum of the eastern region complained that the weak management from the government had deprived them of subsidised kerosene. The NOC Biratnagar chief Arjun Singh accepted the delay but said distribution of subsidised kerosene to the students has already begun.