Around 50 percent of the petrol pumps are engaged in various dishonest business, includes weighing and measuring fraud of oil by tampering with weight scales.
The observations were made after some 45 filling stations in different parts of the country were fined by mobile courts for various types of irregularities.
According to Energy and Mineral Resources Division, the offices of the Deputy Commissioner conducted a total of 77 mobile courts in August. Among these, there were 34 petrol pumps of Padma Oil Company, 22 of Meghna Petroleum and 21 of Jamuna Oil Company. The authorities have issued fine against 45 fuel pump owners including 23 of Padma, 12 of Meghna and 10 of Jamuna as they were providing less amount of oil than the clients deserved on payment. It also found some other irregularities against them.
Mohammad Md. Mahbub Hossain, Senior Secretary of Energy and Mineral Resources Division recently directed to the concern officials to continue operation of mobile courts to prevent such deceitful acts.
Filling station owners said their profits from the commission come only after bearing other costs, claiming it was difficult to meet operating costs on whatever remained.
Sources said in recent years, there has been an unfair competition among owners as more filling stations have been permitted than required. As a result, some filling stations are even tampering with weight scales to make a profit.
Earlier State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has instructed to implement use of modern technology in all fuel/gas filling stations.
He also instructed to strengthen network of all filling stations through use of digital technology.
The state minister said, “Filling station activities should be monitored to prevent adulteration of fuel oil. The initiative to update the overall status of filling stations with GPS location is good. Arrangements can be made to link it to the ERP map of BPC.”
An Official said that the energy division requests to the district administrators to conduct regular operations on various complaints, including giving less quantity at the petrol pumps. But regular operations are not conducted at petrol pumps.
Recently, the Energy Division has brought under accountability of the concerned area officials in the case of gas theft. Those concerned also think that if something like this could be done in the field of oil marketing, the common people would get better service.
The issue of fuel oil monitoring by the government had been discussed for a long time in the past. To this end, the government has taken initiatives to make GPS (Global Positioning System) maps of fuel filling stations across the country. Recently BPC prepared a list and submitted it to the energy and mineral resources division.
There are a total of 2,297 filling stations in the country. Such initiatives have been taken to prevent unfair competition among traders, prevent adulteration of oil and control its quantity and quality, energy and mineral resources division officials said.
Approval for new filling stations in the country remains stopped since 2016. However, a new fuel station was approved last year on special consideration. Applications for construction of many filling stations have been submitted to the Ministry and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).