Kathmandu, February 22
Distributors of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) have expressed their solidarity with the protest announced by the LPG bottlers against the government.
Citing that the government had overlooked the concerns of LPG distributors like that of bottlers, cooking gas distributors today announced that they will halt the supply of LPG in the domestic market from March 1 if the government fails to address different concerns raised by distributors.
LPG bottlers, on Thursday, had announced a series of programmes to protest the ‘government’s inability’ to resolve problems facing the LPG industry, including failure to substitute Indian LPG bullets with Nepali ones to transport cooking gas from India to Nepal. As a part of their protest, LPG bottlers had announced to halt the supply of cooking gas from the aforementioned date by halting collection of LPG product delivery order from Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).
Basically, bottlers had demanded from the government to raise the commission for both LPG bottlers and distributors citing that it has not been raised since almost five years. Currently, NOC is providing commission of Rs 30.55 per cylinder to bottlers and Rs 32 per cylinder to distributors.
Similarly, the gas bottlers’ protest is backed by the government’s failure to facilitate bottlers in acquiring the ‘non-explosive certificate’ for Nepali bullets manufactured in India. Due to lack of such certificates, bottlers have been barred from using their own gas bullets to ferry cooking gas to Nepal.
“Along with the formation of a stable government, we had expected that different issues plaguing the LPG industry would be solved gradually. However, like previous governments, this government too is reluctant to address concerns raised by LPG distributors,” said Maheshwor Shrestha, president of Gas Dealers’ Federation Nepal, adding that distributors have been compelled to take part in the protest against the government.
Meanwhile, NOC has hinted that it could raise the commission for both LPG bottlers and distributors. “We will gradually address logical demands of bottlers and distributors. However, NOC will not tolerate any activities targeted at halting supply of cooking gas,” said Surendra Kumar Poudel,
executive director of NOC.
A version of this article appears in print on February 23, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.