KATHMANDU: The government has started distributing consumer cards in a bid to providing cooking gas to the consumers in a hassle-free manner, in the context of shortage of LPG in the market since some time back.
In this connection, a gas card was issued to Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai at a programme organised at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers today. On the occasion, Minister for Commerce and Supplies Lekhraj Bhatta provided a card to the prime minister. The prime minister's card number is One.
Similarly, Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, Lalmani Joshi, issued cooking gas consumer cards to Minister Bhatta, Minister of State for Commerce and Supplies, Bishnu Chaudhary and Acting General Manager of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), Suresh Agrawal.
The NOC plans to distribute the Red Card for domestic use and the Blue Card for industrial use.
Speaking at the programme, NOC Acting General Manager Agrawal said the distribution of consumer cards for cooking gas has been started in a bid to curtail the black marketing and irregularities seen in the supply of LPG in the market.
He said the distribution of consumer cards has been started by providing the card to the Prime Minister as per the NOC's objective of distributing the Red Cards for cooking gas for domestic use in the Kathmandu Valley within May 13.
According to him, the consumer cards would be issued to consumers in the Kathmandu Valley within May 13 in the first phase and to the consumers in the districts outside the Valley after May 28.
The distribution of consumer cards has been done to keep the record of the quantity of cooking gas that is required by consumers.
The NOC is said to be making provisions for providing 19-kilogramme- LPG cylinders for industrial purposes.
For domestic purposes, a family with four members will be provided with one cylinder of LPG.
NOC also plans to provide the LPG at a subsidized rate fixed by the government to consumers holding the LPG consumer cards.
The entire process for the distribution of the so-called 'gas cards' would be moved forward from today itself in collaboration with the Gas Manufacturers' Association and the Federation of Gas Distributors.
Consumers have to fill in a form at the nearest gas dealer's which can be purchased at Rs. 10 to get their cards.
Minister Bhatta, speaking at his office after handing over the card to the prime minister, said the cards have been distributed to provide cooking gas to consumers in a hassle-free way. He added that this system has been devised to resolve the problem as the government does not have the exact figures on the number of gas consumers.
Stating the NOC is still incurring a loss of Rs. 802 per cylinder, Minister Bhatta said the matter is being discussed with the prime minister and the finance minister to recover the loss.
He said the government adopted the scientific system with the belief that problems could be easily resolved if we have reliable data on the number of gas consumers.
Former president of the Federation of Gas Dealers, Gyaneshwar Aryal, hailed the government's plan as being scientific and also pledged every possible cooperation from the Federation's side.