Kathmandu, March 1
Liquefied petroleum gas bottlers today stopped collecting the purchase delivery order of cooking gas from Nepal Oil Corporation, violating the law that bars any trader from halting the supply of essential goods.
As PDO is mandatory to collect LPG from refineries of Indian Oil Corporation in India, bottlers’ move to not collect PDO from NOC is certain to halt the supply of cooking gas in the domestic market in the next few days.
“As part of our protest declared earlier against the government’s unwillingness to address demands raised by LPG industries, none of the LPG bottlers collected PDO from NOC today,” Gokul Bhandari, president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association, told THT. He added that they were forced to protest, as the government was reluctant to address their concerns.
LPG bottlers want NOC to revise their commission, as per cylinder commission for bottlers has not been raised for almost five years. NOC is providing commission of Rs 30.55 per cylinder to bottlers and Rs 32 per cylinder to distributors.
They have also asked the government to facilitate LPG bottlers to acquire necessary certificate from Indian authorities so that they can use own gas bullets to ferry cooking gas from India to Nepal.
Following LPG bottlers’ threat to launch protests, bottlers and NOC have already held two rounds of talks to resolve the issue. However, Bhandari said during the meetings NOC was more focused on deferring the protest rather than addressing the concerns of the gas industry.
Meanwhile, the threat from LPG bottlers to halt supply of cooking gas has led to panic buying in the domestic market, with distributors of LPG witnessing queues outside their depots.
NOC officials said discussions were under way to address ‘logical’ concerns of LPG bottlers. “However, bottlers cannot halt the supply of LPG. We expect them to collect PDO from NOC from Saturday itself,” said Birendra Goit, spokesperson for NOC.
A version of this article appears in print on March 02, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.