KATHMANDU, April 26: Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has stepped up fuel distribution in the market amid low oil stock and reduced supply by Indian Oil Corporation.
“We pumped out 380 kiloliters of petrol and 357 kiloliters of diesel in the Kathmandu Valley on Thursday,” said Birendra Goit, chief of NOC Thankot depot -- the main supply point of fuel for the Valley. The volume of fuel supplied on the day is well above the normal daily consumption level of the Valley.
However, dealers said the supply still failed to meet the demand. The announcement by NOC that it only had fuel enough for five days´ supply has turned the consumers jittery. “The consumers thus have been hoarding fuel, raising the demand ,” said Saroj Pandey, former president of Nepal Petroleum Dealers Association.
Given the situation, Pandey said the corporation would need to pump out around 400 kiloliters of petrol in the next few days if the scarcity is to be addressed.
Officials at NOC, which has been facing cut in import volume due to the failure to settle dues of over Rs 1.5 billion to IOC, said they will consistently supply higher volume of fuel over the next few days to end scarcity.
As the government on Wednesday provided to NOC Rs 750 million in VAT refund, officials said they are paying the new tranche to settle the dues on Friday. “This will enable us to bring in more fuel. There is no need for consumers to panic. We will continue to supply fuel in excess of normal demand,” said Goit.
Although other top officials of the corporation echoed Goit, they noted that the latest VAT refund will solve the problem for the time being only. The long-term solution will come only when the government adjusts the retail rates in line with the international trend.
In the absence of price adjustments, the corporation is presently incurring a loss of Rs 1.55 billion a month.