LPG bottlers upset ‘non-explosive certificate' issue not resolved during PM Oli's India visit

Kathmandu, April 11

Domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottlers have expressed concerns over the inability of the government to raise the issue regarding the issuance of ‘non-explosive certificate' to Nepali LPG bullets during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's recent state visit to India.

Domestic gas bottlers had been expecting that the long-pending issue regarding issuance of ‘non-explosive certificate' to Nepali gas bullets would be raised and resolved during the PM's India visit. However, with the prime minister not discussing the issue during his visit, the country's plan to substitute Indian LPG bullets to supply cooking gas in the country has become uncertain, according to LPG bottlers in the country.

As it has been more than a year that Indian authorities have been refusing to issue such certificates to Nepali LPG bullets, dozens of Nepali LPG bullets manufactured in India have been unable to enter the gas-supplying business as ‘non-explosive certificate' is a mandatory document for bottlers to collect cooking gas from Indian gas refineries.

“The inability of the government to raise this issue during the recent visit of PM Oli to India has not only put the private sector investment at risk, but also displayed government apathy towards problems being faced by the private sector,” alleged Shiva Prasad Ghimire, immediate past president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association.

As per Ghimire, hundreds of such gas bullets of Nepali companies have already been manufactured in India.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) - the two government bodies responsible to sort out this issue - have been pointing fingers at each other for the delay in operationalising Nepali gas bullets.

While MoICS has been saying that NOC should coordinate with Indian authorities regarding the issue as it was the corporation that issued the permission for private sector to manufacture gas bullets, NOC officials have been saying that the issue regarding issuance of non-explosive certificates to Nepali gas bullets can only be resolved through government-to-government talks.

“It seems that NOC allowed domestic private sector to manufacture their own gas bullets without adequate groundwork,” said an official of MoICS, seeking anonymity.