Petrol price hike impact: Cheap fuel smuggled in from Nepal
The rising price of petrol has led to an interesting development in states which border India's neighbouring country Nepal. Petrol is cheaper by around ₹22 there.
According to Hindustan Times' sister publication Livehindustan, some people in Bihar's Araria and Kishanganj are crossing the border using narrow tracks, away from the main roads, to smuggle in the petrol. Many such people have been caught by local police and SSB jawans, Livehindustan reported.
While petrol is retailing at ₹93.50 per litre in Bihar's Araria, it is available at ₹70.62 in Nepal, according to Livehindustan.
Nepal gets the supply of petrol from India. According to an old treaty between the two countries, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) imports petrol for Nepal from the Gulf countries. It is sold at the cost price, only refinery fees is charged due to which the fuel retails cheap in the Himalayan country.
"The smuggling of petrol from Nepal is affecting the sales in domestic market," said Sudhir Kumar, who owns a fuel station in Jogbani town.
The Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of SSB, SK Sarangi, was quoted as saying by Livehindustan that patrolling has been intensified in border areas. Kishanganj SP Kumar Ashish said the patrolling will be done along with SSB and instructions will be given to all police stations.
There are many areas in interior parts of Bihar where people easily cross the border through narrow tracks. The petrol that is brought in illegally from Nepal is sold to small retailers at less price.
Meanwhile, petrol price was hiked by 34 paise per litre and diesel by 32 paise on Thursday, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
After the relentless hike over the last 10 days, petrol is nearing ₹100 mark in many cities across India.
Fuel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT and freight charges. Rajasthan levies the highest value-added tax (VAT) on petrol in the country, followed by Madhya Pradesh.