Monday, August 9, 2010

Nepal Oil Corporation officials go on strike over importing oil from Barauni refinery

The staff of the Amlekhgunj depot of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) went on a strike over bringing oil from the Barauni refinery of Indian Oil Corporation last week. In their 13-point memorandum, they want the government to stop import fuel from the Barauni refinery of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in Bihar.

The employees of NOC Amlekhgunj depot are saying that temperature difference between Barauni and Amlekhgunj is the main reason behind fuel loss worth millions of rupees.

Shiva Adhikari, General Secretary, Nepal Oil Corporation Employees’ Organizations said, “When the temperature decreases by a single degree, it leads to a loss of nine litres of fuel. Since, there is a difference of almost 10 degrees between Amlekhgunj and Barauni, each tanker registers almost 90 of fuel loss,……That is the reason why Amlekhgunj depot had registered an unaccounted loss of Rs 29.3 million, which led to the suspension of the entire staff..”

Due to record fuel loss, government accused employees of the Amlekhgunj depot of stealing oil. In 2009, a high-level probe team was formed to look into the irregularities of NOC Amlekhgunj depot. In its report, the team said that the head of the Amlekhgunj depot, his deputy, and other officials are involved in this embezzlement and stole Rs.29 million showing technical loss.

The case is still under investigation by Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and NOC board initially suspended 21 employees including six officers, and fired three others working on contract basis on charges of corruption.

This strike would severely affect Nepal’s economy because almost two third of oil is supplied by the Amlekhgunj depot.

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