Similar system to be introduced in all BOD fuel stations

Fuel: Drivers of government agencies and corporations who are used to making “side income” in collusion with fuel attendants, while fuelling pool vehicles, will see their source of income gone.

An electronically generated money receipts (e-receipts) from fuel dispensing machines will now make fuel transactions more transparent and efficient.

Economic Affairs minister, Norbu Wangchuk, yesterday launched the e-receipt machines at the Bhutan Oil Distributer (BOD) in Lungtenzampa in Thimphu.

The minister said the requirement of a receipt is mandatory after every business transition according to the Consumer Protection Act of Bhutan 2012. “The e-receipt system will not only facilitate the Act but also promote effective and transparent use of budget,” he said.

Initiated by the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) in the ministry, the fuel dispensing machines produces an e-receipt after every fuel transition. The receipt includes the number of the vehicle, the amount and rate of the fuel along with the date of refuelling.

Introduced to address the growing number of fuel misuse by drivers and fuelling attendants, officials said that the system will bring in more transparency and accountability in managing fuel budget in government, corporations and agencies.

It is a common practice where drivers and fuelling attendants collaborate to misuse fuel money. “If we refuel 50 litres of petrol, we reflect it as 70 or 80 in the fuel book, the rest we share among us,” confessed a government driver to Kuensel at the launch.

OCP’s Executive Director, Sonam Tenzin, said that the system will limit the opportunities of such misuses and promote efficient fuel expenditures and save government budget.

BOD’s manager, Karma Thinley, said that with the system in place, drivers are mandated to attach the e-receipt along with the logbook maintained by the agencies concerned at BOD. “Only then we’ll consider it legitimate and reflect it on the book,” he said.

OCP’s deputy chief programme officer, Jigme Dorji, said that with this system in place, the possible leakage of fuel budget at the ministry will be curbed.

However, a fuelling attendant at the station said that the new system is time consuming. “We have to punch in the vehicle numbers and the amount and all,” he said. “It has become inconvenient for us and others waiting.”

The country today spends Nu 8.5 billion on fuel imports. The Lungtenzampa BOD imports around 500 kilo-litters (kl) of petrol and 600kl of diesel every month. On an average, 18,000 litters of petrol and 25,000 litters of diesel is sold daily at the station.

Younten Tshedup