NOC has fuel only for security forces

- Post Report, Kathmandu
India has virtually halted fuel flow after an Indian national died in police firing in Birgunj last week

Nov 10, 2015-Nepal Oil Corporation said on Monday that it has decided to cut fuel ration to public vehicles and other essential suppliers citing depleting stock.“As imports have dwindled, we have limited fuel for distribution,” said Gopal Bahadur Khadka, managing director of the NOC. “The petroleum products that we currently have will be prioritised for security forces.”

Since India restricted movement of oil tankers, the NOC has been providing fuel only for public vehicles, essential suppliers and emergency services. Although fuel had been trickling into Nepal, India virtually halted the flow last week after an Indian national died in police firing in Birgunj.“We have hardly received any fuel in the past five days,” Khadka said. The NOC’s move to get private companies to import fuel failed following an issue over awarding contract to Birat Petroleum. Khadka said the oil monopoly’s plans did not materialise due to the controversy. Khadka was charged with accepting the bid of the company to import petroleum products without assessing the preliminary requirements.

Birat Petroleum, which the NOC had blacklisted three years ago, has been criticised for quoting excessively high prices. Defending the company, Khadka criticised media reports and parliamentary committees for their “lack of seriousness” in resolving the deepening crisis.Following widespread criticism, Birat on Sunday breached the supply deal. Khadka also defended his decision to provide Rs200 million in advance payment to the company. He said the NOC had got a bank guarantee from the company.“As oil suppliers need a hefty amount of money, we provided it to them to ease the process,” said Khadka, adding that Birat had said it is in the process of returning the money.

 

Published: 10-11-2015 08:36

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