No progress in allowing Nepali bullets to ferry LPG from India

Kathmandu, January 23

Indian government still seems to be reluctant in allowing Nepali liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bullets to ferry gas from Indian gas refineries to Nepal.

Though Nepal had raised the issue regarding allowing Nepali entrepreneurs to operate their gas bullets to ferry LPG from India to Nepal in a recent meeting of the Nepal-India joint working group on petroleum, the Indian side urged Nepal to bring the issue through Nepal’s Embassy in India.

Dhurba Ghimire, joint secretary at Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, informed that Indian authorities have asked Nepal to bring the issue regarding operationalisation of Nepali LPG bullets through Nepal’s Embassy in India.

Earlier in 2016, the government had adopted a policy to substitute Indian LPG ferrying gas bullets with Nepali ones and encouraged Nepali private sector to acquire their own LPG bullets. Moreover, the government had provided 66 per cent waiver on customs duty to the private sector on the import of gas bullets.

Consequently, Nepali gas bottlers had placed orders for gas bullets in India. Though hundreds of LPG bullets were manufactured in India, Nepali gas bottlers were unable to enter into the fuel-ferrying business following the refusal of the Indian authorities to issue the non-explosive certificate, a mandatory document for bottlers to collect cooking gas from Indian gas refineries.

This long-pending issue regarding issuance of non-explosive certificate to Nepali gas-ferrying bullets was still unresolved at the Nepal-India joint working group meeting on petroleum issues.

Shiva Ghimire, former president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association, opined that the inability to take up the issue regarding operation of Nepali LPG bullets strongly with Indian government pointed at government’s weakness. “A number of gas bottlers have already lost millions of rupees they had invested for manufacturing their own LPG bullets.”