DoTM puts on hold nixing of LPG-powered dymakions

KATHMANDU: Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has postponed its decision to scrap the LPG-run tempos for an indefinite period. DoTM has written a letter to the Bagmati Zone Transport Management Office directing it not to implement the process without further direction.

“DoTM wants to settle the problem through talks, so we took this step,” said DoTM director general Sharad Chandra Poudel. Further negotiations with tempo operators will be held at the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) at October 29. Minister Mohammed Aftab Alam will deal with the issue, he added. “The decision will come after the talks,” he said.

MoLTM had taken the decision to phase-out LPG-run three-wheelers on September 9 at the recommendation of DoTM. In February, the department had formed a study committee under Poudel’s leadership to study the situation. The committee has suggested MoLTM to give 75 per cent compensation to the LPG-run tempo owners. MoLTM had provided up to 99 per cent tax exemption on import of new vehicles in place of Vikram tempo from Kathmandu valley on 1998. Vikram tempo owners had got 75 per cent and 99 per cent exemption in customs duty while importing diesel microbus and LPG-run tempos.

“We hoped that the Ministry of Finance would support the move but it did not,” said Poudel, “That is the root of the prevailing problems.” The newly-formed tempo owners’ association — Self-reliant Transport Entrepreneurs Association (STEA) — has asked for tax exemptions, like for Vikram tempos. “We want 99 exemption in customs duty and secure route permits,” said STEA joint secretary Dhurba Raj Shrestha.

LPG-run tempo owners organized a sit-in protest under the STEA aegis on DoTM’s premises today demanding at least 75 per cent rebate in customs duty. The protest has supported by the Supreme Federation of Nepal National Transport Entrepreneurs. Around 940 LPG-run tempos have registered in Bagmati zone and 460 of them are in operation.