Birat selling Euro IV petrol at Rs130

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 11, 2016-

Private oil importer Birat Petroleum started selling Euro IV standard petrol from three outlets in Kathmandu on Thursday. 

Its product costs Rs130 per litre, which is Rs31 per litre dearer than the gasoline sold 

by state-owned Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC). NOC Director Mukunda Ghimire said they had permitted Birat to sell its product from three gasoline stations—Mali Oil Store in Kalimati, Valley Rikesh Suppliers in Gairigaun and Jayanti Oil in Tripureshwor. 

These pumps get a sales commission of Rs4 per litre, said officials of the Department of Supply Management. According to Ghimire, the corporation gave the go-ahead to Birat to sell fuel after the proposal was approved by the department. 

Gokul Prasad Dhital, director general of the department, said they had allowed Birat to sell fuel after the Supply Ministry gave its okay. He expressed 

dissatisfaction that NOC had allowed Birat to sell fuel without carrying out a proper study. Last October, the Supply Ministry had issued a permit to Birat to import and sell fuel in the Nepali market in the midst of a severe shortage caused by India’s trade embargo. Birat had sold petrol at Rs199 per litre during the crisis. 

Birat had been pressing the authorities to allow it to sell Euro IV standard petrol at Rs155 per litre after importing 126,000 litres of the fuel from India last week. 

NOC said that the price set by Birat for Euro IV standard petrol was reasonable. “Birat has to buy fuel at the retail price, and with tax the price is not much different,” said Ghimire.

Meanwhile, consumer rights activists have criticized the decision to allow a private company to sell fuel at a higher price when the shortage has eased. 

“Allowing private companies to sell fuel at a higher price gives them an opportunity to exploit consumers,” said Bishnu Prasad Timilsina, secretary of the Consumers’ Right Protection Forum, Nepal.

Published: 11-03-2016 09:35

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