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Petroleum shortage looms large after NOC fails to pay IOC

Valley petrol pumps have again started witnessing longer queues due to shortage of petroleum products.

The state oil monopoly claimed that the shortage started due to low supply of petroleum products from the supplier Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) as the Nepal Oil Corporation failed to pay the IOC.

The IOC used to supply NOC some 2,300 kilo litres of petroleum products everyday, whereas it has been supplying only 800 kilo litre for past few days.

“The IOC curtailed the supply of petroleum products by 25 per cent,” NOC spokesperson Mukunda Ghimire said, adding that the NOC has to pay Rs 4 billion by today but failed. “The NOC is waiting for the Finance Ministry to release loan to pay.”

Though it has committed to pay the IOC as early as possible, the failure has resulted in reduction of petroleum supply, he said, adding that NOC was under pressure to clear the dues also because it is the final month of the fiscal year in India.

The NOC had sought of Rs 5 billion from the Finance Ministry to clear its dues to the sole supplier IOC.

However, the government is still in dilemma in addressing the perennial shortage of petroleum products as it is waiting for the report from the parliamentary committee.

The parliament had formed a 11-member committee on March 28 to study the pricing and distribution of petroleum products.

The Finance Ministry is unwilling to lend Nepal Oil Corporation as it will not solve the problem in long run.

The technically bankrupt NOC already has a loan of Rs 34.16 billion, including Rs 18.78 billion of Citizens Investment Trust and Employees’ Provident Fund. Its loan is 25 times its net worth.