Dealers threaten to turn off petro tap

Kathmandu, May 8:

Petroleum dealers have threatened to launch agitation and stop distributing petroleum products if the government does not come up with concrete programmes to ensure a smooth supply of fuel by May 28.

An emergency meeting of the central working committee of Nepal Petroleum Dealers’ Association held in the capital yesterday set up a seven-member committee led by its chairman Shiva Prasad Ghimire to mount pressure to ensure a smooth supply of petroleum products.

The association claimed the government seems to have vanished after the Constituent Assembly polls, adding that this void has affected everyday life of people and development works. He called on the government to involve the private sector in the distribution of petroleum products, restructure the state-owned monopoly Nepal Oil Corporation to check huge leakages and high operational costs and review heavy taxes levied on the import of petroleum products. The NOC has been buying petrol at Rs 55.49/litre at the IOC depot in Raxual. Actual cost of per litre of petrol mounts to Rs 86.52 by the time it arrives in Kathmandu, mainly due to heavy taxation.

Cost of per litre of diesel climbs to Rs 84.49 in Kathmandu, though it costs Rs 67.20 in Raxual. Price of per litre of kerosene mounts from Rs 65.87 to Rs 71.47 and price of per cylinder of LPG surges to Rs 1214.48 in Kathmandu from 969.03 in Raxual.

The NOC has slashed the distribution of petroleum by 40 per cent beginning this week, saying that it was unable to adequately finance the import in the face of surging price of crude oil in the international market.

The NOC is distributing 410 kilolitres of petroleum a day to the dealers from Sunday against the demand of around 800 kl. Shortly after the April 10 vote, the NOC had slashed the supply of diesel and kerosene to dealers.