Money

Administration turns blind eye to gasoline smuggling

- RAJENDRA NATH, THAKUR SINGH THARU, NEPALGUNJ

Oct 8, 2015-

Petroleum products entering the country illegally through Rupaidiha across the border from Nepalgunj are being dispatched to various districts where there is an acute fuel scarcity.

The local administration has started sending the contraband gasoline to big cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara.

The District Administration Office (DAO), Banke said that the fuel being smuggled in through the border point should help to keep motor vehicles in Nepalgunj and border areas running.

It has turned a blind eye to the smuggling and the gasoline which is sold in bottles and jerry cans.

However, local petroleum traders have opposed the move of the local administration. After India imposed an undeclared embargo on Nepal two weeks ago, 40 fuel tankers and LPG bullets have entered Nepal through the Rupaidiha border point.

Among them, seven petrol tankers, two aviation fuel tankers and 18 diesel tankers have been sent to districts suffering from an acute fuel shortage.

According to the Petroleum Dealers’ Association, the Mid-Western Region requires 291,000 litres of diesel and 40,000 litres of petrol daily.

“There is an acute shortage of petroleum products in the Mid-Western Region, gasoline is being sent to other districts despite the scarcity here,” he said. “We have been asking the local administration to allocate half of the petroleum products for this region and the rest for other parts of the country, but it has not listened to our demands.”

There has been strong pressure on the local administration to ship petroleum products to other parts of the country. There is a growing trend of people smuggling fuel from across the border, but the security forces have not taken any action against those involved in such acts.

Petrol is being sold at Rs200 to Rs250 per litre on the black market against the usual price of Rs104 per litre. This bottled petrol can be seen in many parts of the city.

The DAO has formed a monitoring committee to control black marketing under the leadership of Chief District Officer Bed Prakash Lekhak.

Lekhak said that they had initiated action against black marketing. “When we found out that petrol was being brought from India, we didn’t take any action,” he added.

President of the Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industry Krishna Prasad Shrestha said that the local requirement should be fulfilled before sending petroleum products to other parts of the country.

Police arrest black marketer

PYUTHAN: Police have arrested a petrol pump operator here for black marketing in gasoline. Proprietor Shanta Thapaliya of Santoshi Oil Centre located in Daderi, Bangeshal has been arrested on the charge of black marketing. Chief District Officer Ram Bahadur Kurungwang said that action was initiated after the petrol pump was revealed to be hoarding 1,500 litres of gasoline.

Published: 08-10-2015 09:02

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