Birat cuts petrol price to Rs99 a ltr

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 14, 2016-

Birat Petroleum has slashed the price of its petrol to Rs99 per litre from Rs130, in line with the price maintained by Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).

According to Tripureshwor-based Jayanti Oil, it started to sell the fuel imported by Birat at Rs99 per litre from Sunday. “In a bilateral meeting held on Saturday, Birat agreed to reduce the price,” said Binod Agrawal, proprietor of the fuel station.

Birat landed in controversy after it started selling the fuel at Rs130 per litre at the time when petroleum imports have improved. 

The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on Friday had sought clarification from the Supply Ministry over the issue. 

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) also summoned the Supply Ministry and NOC on Sunday, seeking their clarifications.

CIAA Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi said Supply Ministry Secretary Shreedhar Sapkota and NOC chief Gopal Bahadur Khadka furnished their clarifications. “We asked them to increase petroleum supply and investigate at what price private importers are selling their products,” said Subedi. 

According to the Department of Supply Management (DoSM), 16 companies have taken licences to import fuel.

Gokul Prasad Dhital, director general of DoSM, confirmed the reduction in the price of the petrol sold by Birat. “We have received a report that Birat has started selling its petrol at Rs99 per litre,” he said.

Parshuram Upreti, at official of Birat Petroleum, however, claimed the company has not given its consent to the pumps to reduce the price. He said the company faces a loss of Rs15-18 per litre even if it sells the petrol at Rs130 per litre.

Birat had imported 132,000 litres of petrol month ago. “But we received the government’s permission to sell our product just now. This increased our costs as we could not release the tankers early,” he said. “We agreed to sell the petrol at loss considering the risks associated with keeping the tankers on hold for a longer period.”

Birat claims the fuel it has imported is of Euro IV standard. However, a lab test report released by Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology shows there is no difference in quality between the fuel supplied by Birat and NOC.

Earlier, NOC had unilaterally allowed Birat to sell its fuel through Mali Oil Store in Kalimati, Valley Rikesh Suppliers in Gairigaun and Jayanti Oil in Tripureshwor. 

Mali, however, declined to sell Birat’s fuel amid controversy, according to Laxman Shrestha, director of DoSM.

Published: 14-03-2016 08:36

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