Nepal | June 02, 2020

Concession sought on import of gas bullets

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, April 7

Gas bottling plants have started the process of buying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bullets to ferry cooking gas to the country. Till date, they have been relying on Indian transporters for the purpose.

At present, bottling plants have taken 450 bullets on lease to ferry cooking gas to Nepal. Recently, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) permitted bottlers to purchase bullets and in the initial phase the 55 bottling plants in the country have proposed to purchase 450 bullets.

After the go-ahead from NOC, bottling plants have sought some incentives from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) on customs tariff to purchase the LPG bullets. Bottling plants have sought facilities that are granted under the Mill and Machineries heading, according to Sishir Kumar Dhungana, director general of the Department of Customs (DoC).

LPG bottling plants have claimed that bullets too are industrial infrastructure. “The finance ministry can define gas bullets as industrial infrastructure,” said Shiva Prasad Ghimire, president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association. The DoC levies only four per cent customs tariff under the Mills and Machineries heading.

“If the government considers extending this concession to bottling plants, we will be able to buy LPG bullets,” he said.

If the government extends this facility then a gas bullet will only cost Rs 6.8 million.

However, Dhungana said that it is difficult to extend such treatment to the bottling plants. “LPG bullet is considered a truck that is used to ferry industrial goods as well and the customs department cannot extend special privilege to the bottling plants,” he added.

Currently, duty levied at customs point for trucks category is around 123 per cent.

LPG bottlers have said that it would not be commercially viable for them if the government levies the same duty like on trucks. Bottling plants have been lobbying with the high-level leadership of the government for the special treatment to import gas bullets. NOC has fixed the number of bullets that the bottling plants can purchase based on the location of the industry and quota extended by NOC.

Regional meeting to be held in Kolkata

KATHMANDU: Depot heads of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and concerned depot heads of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) authorised to supply fuel to Nepal including high-level officials of both entities are scheduled to meet on April 21 and 22 in Kolkata. The depot chiefs of Nepal and India will review supply related issues in the presence of the high-level officials, according to Sushil Bhattarai, deputy acting managing director of NOC. Depot chiefs of NOC from Amlekhgunj, Jhapa, Biratnagar and depot chiefs of IOC from Raxaul, Barauni, Haldia and Siliguri, will meet and discuss to resolve obstacles in supply. The meeting of the depot chiefs of NOC and IOC, which is also a regional meeting, will also hold discussions on implementing locking system in NOC tankers. Under the locking system, IOC will lock the tankers after refilling them and only NOC depots will be able to unlock them. NOC has been preparing to implement this mechanism as tanker drivers are allegedly involved in pilferage of fuel from tankers.

A version of this article appears in print on April 08, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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