Majority of gas bottlers still to pay affiliation fee to govt

Kathmandu, January 24

A majority of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) companies have not paid affiliation fee to the government as required by the LP Gas Bylaw, 2008.

Though the bylaw requires cooking gas bottlers registered with the government before 2008 to pay Rs 500,000 as affiliation fee and Rs one million for those registered after 2008, none of the LPG bottlers registered with the government before 2008 have paid such fees, according to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) sources.

Currently, there are 53 LPG bottling plants in the country, of which NOC says more than half began services before 2008.

However, NOC and the government have not initiated any action against such gas companies though they have been breaching government law openly.

“Though the bylaw states that gas companies registered before 2008 need to pay Rs 500,000 as affiliation fee, gas bottlers have strong reservations against this provision. They say that the government has already charged such affiliation fee from them during registration before 2008,” said Deepak Baral, LPG director of NOC, adding that the corporation has not taken any action as there is some logic in the claims made by gas bottlers.

Informing that the NOC is currently reviewing this provision of the bylaw, Baral said, “If our analysis show that such bottlers have to pay affiliation fee, we will take action against them for not paying the fee till date. However, we might also amend the bylaw if we find that such provision on gas bottlers registered before 2008 is unwarranted.”

Meanwhile, Shiva Ghimire, president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association, said that all bottlers have already paid such affiliation fee and service charges to the government at the time of registering their companies.

“Taking such charge from new firms after the implementation of the bylaw is justifiable. However, not a single gas company doing business before the bylaw came into effect will pay the charges as they have already paid such fees.”