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Fuel Shortage: Blame Game On As Dealers Lay Blame On Government’s Door

IMPHAL, Oct 18 : Instead of taking up some concrete measures to address the problem of shortage of petroleum products, the State Government has been unnecessarily interfering in the distribution of whatever quantities are brought in to the State, alleged the SK Oil Dealers’ Association.

Speaking to media persons at Hotel Imphal here this afternoon, the association claimed that the problem of shortage of fuel can be ameliorated if the Government stops the alleged undue and frequent interference in the works of IOC Limited.

Even after knowing that most of the oil tankers are reluctant to ferry fuel because of the pathetic condition of the highways and the sense of the all pervading insecurity, the State Government is yet to take up any concrete measures so that all the 400 oil tankers listed under IOC willingly carrying petroleum products from outside the State. Even then, the Government is unable to make necessary requisition. Out of 400 oil tankers listed under IOC, only about 200 oil tankers are engaged in ferrying fuel.

Again, if the IOC is determined, it can requisition around 50/60 oil tankers based in Assam to ferry fuels to Manipur.

Neither has the IOC bothered to make such an arrangement nor the Government has applied any pressure towards this end, they lamented.

Accusing the Government of making undue interference in the distribution of whatever quantities that are brought in instead of working to bring in adequate quantities, they disclosed that out of the State’s monthly quota of 2112 Kls of SK Oil, 91 Kls have been missing unaccounted.

After subtracting the allotted monthly quantities for the nine districts, ADC Jiribam and ADC Kangpokpi, 317 Kls are reserved in CAF &PD pool, 28 Kls reserved for Wangkhei A/C and another 8 Kls reserved for CAF &PD Commissioner and Under Secretary for distribution to fair price shops.

But 91 Kls remain unaccounted. Even though the Government is aware of this lacuna, it is unable to trace the missing quantity.

While the people have not been receiving SK Oil for the first quarter (April-June), the Government of India sanctioned 6336 Kls of SK Oil for the second quarter. Against this sanctioned quantity for the second quarter, allocation for the month of September was made on September 3 due to strong pressure from dealers. But the Government suddenly inserted Clause II preventing dealers from lifting oil, they asserted.

In compliance with this Clause II, the State level Co-ordinator sent a letter asking for allocation of 12 Kls of SK        oil to 35 dealers. But the Government issued a contradictory order on September 6.

According to the order issued by the Under Secretary on the advice of the CAF &PD Minister, 20 Kls each should be distributed through DCs and another 50 Kls should be distributed from PCTC through another DC.

However, many dealers could not lift SK Oil through DCs during the stipulated period.

After receiving permission from the Government to lift the pending quantities for the months of April, May and June by October, dealers started lifting kerosene from the depot but it was prohibited by the CAF &PD Minister contending that 20 Kls each should be distributed to all the districts, not to dealers.

This was undue interference and abuse of power by the Minister, they decried.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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