As the prices of petrol and diesel in India hit Rs 100 in most parts of the country, mafias have found their ways to make profits out of it by smuggling the fuel from neighboring countries like Nepal.
Ironically, Nepal has been importing almost all of its petroleum products from India.
Last week, a large tanker smuggling 1,360 liters (359 gallons) of diesel to India was caught in Nepal, the police stated.
“Smuggling has become rampant as prices are cheaper in Nepal because of tax differentiation,” said Ravi Bharti, who operates a gas station at Adapur in eastern India’s Bihar state, less than 3 kilometers (2 miles) from the Nepal border. “This is severely impacting our sales.”
The sales have been diminished to 1,200 liters from 1,800 liters earlier, Bharti said. “Vehicles are now refilling from roadside vendors, who are selling the smuggled fuels much cheaper.”
Arjun Bharatia, a social analyst at the border town of Raxaul in Bihar said, the smuggling of petrol and diesel from Nepal is nothing new in border areas, “There is a huge gap in prices which has led to illegal trade. But this has become rampant nowadays as the difference has gone beyond ₹22/liter for petrol and ₹26/liter for diesel,” he also added.
“The price of petrol in Nepal was at INR 70.95 on Monday while it was ₹94.05 in Indian cities. The price of diesel was at INR 60.12 in Nepal while it was ₹86.45 in India. So, people in border areas are buying fuel much cheaper in Nepal and selling it in India,” Bhartia noted.
This substantial rise in prices is due to the recovery of global fuel prices, and the huge stubborn taxes which account for almost 60% of the selling price of fuel. The government has received criticism for the price hike.
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