MoS halts process to purchase LPG bullets

Kathmandu, July 20

Ministry of Supplies (MoS), today, instructed Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to halt the process of extending permits for purchasing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bullets to bottling plants.

NOC had started issuing permits to bottling plants since a few days back to purchase their own gas bullets to ferry the commodity from the source country.

MoS today instructed NOC to issue permits only after the petroleum transportation bylaw is endorsed by the ministry. NOC has been drafting the aforesaid bylaw to manage the transportation of petroleum products. However, it had issued permits to gas bottlers to purchase LPG bullets before even the drafting process had been completed.

As per MoS Spokesperson Anandram Regmi, NOC has been asked to wait till the new bylaw is endorsed before allowing gas bottlers to purchase LPG bullets. “NOC should promptly scrap the permits that have been issued to the bottling plants and issue them only after the bylaw is endorsed by MoS.”

NOC has already issued permits to 23 LPG bottling plants to purchase 322 gas bullets as of today, said Mukunda Prasad Ghimire, spokesperson for NOC. He, however, said the bottlers who have already obtained permits will be able to purchase gas bullets. NOC will not issue permits from tomorrow.

There are 53 gas bottling plants in the country, and they had sought permission of NOC to purchase a total of 775 gas bullets, as per Shiva Prasad Ghimire, president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association (NLPGIA). “We’ve already begun negotiations to buy gas bullets with concerned parties after obtaining permission from NOC.”

NOC said that it had issued the permits following the provision of ‘Liquefied Petroleum Gas Bylaws-2008’. At present, it is drafting the umbrella bylaw for transportation of all types of petroleum products to better manage transportation of fuel.

Currently, Nepali gas bottlers have hired around 520 gas bullets through Indian transport companies to ferry cooking gas. NOC had called for expression of interest from Nepali bottlers to buy bullets on September 25.

Following lobbying from gas bottlers,  government had levied only 34 per cent (of total price) as customs tariff on LPG bullets through budget 2016-17. As new customs tariff has been enforced since start of new fiscal, NOC had issued permits to LPG bottlers to purchase the bullets.