Rs 50 lakh demand has IOC on the back-foot, say dealers

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IMPHAL, August 23: The depot manager of the Indian Oil Corporation, Manipur Regional Office has been served with a monetary demand by the proscribed PREPAK.

This was informed to the media by petroleum agents and dealers of the IOC in a press conference held at Imphal Hotel conference hall today.

The spokespersons who do not wish to be named mentioned that one finance officer of the proscribed outfit identified as P Chinglen Meitei has demanded the IOC depot manager, Choudhury a sum of Rs 50 lakh.

The notice was served on July 15 and the deadline falls on August 27, they said.

The dealers on behalf of the IOC mentioned that the corporation cannot bear the extortion and it is with all possibility that the regional office located at BT Road could be shifted outside the State due to this regard.

This would further complicate the office transactions for procurement of petroleum products, as the indent for supply has to be done manually sometimes, they said.

Moreover, the divisional manager who is supposed to be posted at the regional office here is currently sitting at Guwahati due to the law and order problem, the dealers continued.

The dealers maintained that if the outfit insist with the monetary demand, this may affect the working of the IOC and further create problems for the dealers in distributing fuel to the public.

Appealing to the concerned authorities and the State government to bring a resolve to the matter at the earliest, they said there is a possibility of the dealers taking out an indefinite protest by closing down the oil pumps.

When queried about the oil scarcity faced in the state, the dealers maintained that it is due to the twin holidays of Independence Day and Krishna Janmasthami which fell on August 15 and 16.

Plus, the IOC depot manager does not sanction the necessary amount to the agents during certain times, they observed. They maintained that the approximate amount of petroleum consumed in the state is about 12,000 litres per day, but the IOC gives out around 4,000 litres only on account of any disruption occurring in the supply lines.

One dealer pointed out that the IOC does not even give out the accurate information of the actual buffer fuel stock at Chingmeirong.

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