Kathmandu, February 15
Due to lack of ‘Explosive Certificate’, domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bullets have not been able to supply cooking gas in the market.
Bottlers have to mandatorily submit such certificates at Indian LPG refineries to get LPG loading.
However, domestic LPG bottlers have said that the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) of India is reluctant to issue such certificates to Nepali LPG bullets, thereby delaying Nepali LPG bullets to begin transporting cooking gas to Nepal.
Following a go-ahead from Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to domestic bottlers to procure their own LPG-carrying bullets, gas companies had placed order for almost 600 such bullets with different Indian fabricators. While Everest Gas Industry has already acquired two gas bullet tankers, LPG bottlers said that more than 300 such bullets have already been manufactured and are waiting to clear the customs. However, gas bottlers said that delay in Explosive Certificate issuance has been delaying the entire process of substituting Indian LPG bullets to supply cooking gas in the country.
“Explosive Certificate is mandatory at gas loading points. However, PESO has not issued us this certificate because of which our LPG bullets have not been able to go to collect cooking gas at Indian refineries,” Shiva Ghimire, president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association (NLPIA), said. According to him, two Nepali LPG bullets are in ready position to start LPG supply as NOC has already issued purchase delivery order (PDO) for Nepali bullets.
PDO is a written authorisation that NOC issues to LPG bottlers to acquire LPG from different Indian refineries.
Citing that NLPIA and Indo Nepal Bulk Transport Association have signed an agreement to gradually replace Indian LPG bullets by Nepali bullets from the end of December, Ghimire said that such delay in allowing domestic LPG bullets to make LPG supply would hamper supply of cooking gas in the future.
Today, NLPIA submitted a 17-point memorandum to the Minister for Supplies Deepak Bohara. Among others, the memo has urged the government to settle the issue of Explosive Certificate for Nepali LPG bullets as soon as possible. Other points in the memorandum include increasing commission to gas bottlers and distributors and increasing price of LPG, among others.
Meanwhile, NOC has said that the matter related to issuing Explosive Certificate to Nepali LPG bullets is temporary in nature and would be resolved soon. “As the fabricator, which is manufacturing Nepali LPG bullets is authorised to issue Explosive Certificate to Nepali bullets, bottlers should get such certificates from them. However, it seems Indian transporters have been putting pressure on fabricators and PESO not to issue such certificate to Nepali LPG tankers,” an NOC source told The Himalayan Times seeking anonymity and added that fabricators have been issuing Explosive Certificates to Nepali petroleum tankers.
Meanwhile, Deepak Baral, LPG director of NOC, said that the corporation has already written a letter to Indian Oil Corporation and other concerned authorities to facilitate the process of issuing the certificate to Nepali LPG bullets.