MoICE to open new fuel outlets to solve fuel shortage woes

With the recurring fuel shortages in Lhamoidzhingkha and Tashichhoeling dungkhags, Gedu, and Tingtibi, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, & Employment (MoICE) has approved additional dealerships to supply fuel in the affected dungkhags. 

MoICE Minister, Namgyal Dorji, shared that, as of date, there is only one fuel station managed by Druk Petroleum Corporation Ltd (DPCL) in the above dungkhags, and the situation is further worsened with real-time gross settlement (RTGS) issues.

He said that the recent fuel shortages faced by the business community in Lhamoizingkha is due to increased private sector participation and development. These have contributed to the tremendous increase in the number of vehicles in Lhamoizingkha.

Therefore, the existing dealer could not meet the petroleum and other lubricants (PoL) requirement as expected.

The ministry has also approved a PoL dealership to one private individual in Lhamoizingkha who is currently negotiating with oil companies in India.

The ministry has already directed STCBL to establish a fuel station at Lhamoizingkha.

Lyonpo said, “We have been constantly following up with STCBL. The detailed designs have also been completed. They are expected to open a PoL outlet soon.”

Further, he said, “To ease the situation, the ministry has directed the dealers to explore and enhance other ways to avoid shortages of the fuel in the above locations.”

He said that one of the measures is to increase underground tank capacity, which the ministry has also requested the principal supplier in India to assist with the requirement, and to provide necessary assistance on a priority basis.

On fuel quality, Lyonpo shared that the regional offices of  MoICE is covering all 20 dzongkhags, with the core mandates to monitor fuel quality and ensure uninterrupted supply within their jurisdiction. They are also responsible to impose fines and penalties when water content is reported.

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