Non-explosive licence for Nepali gas bullets in limbo
Kathmandu, May 13
The long-pending issue regarding issuance of non-explosive certificate to Nepali gas-ferrying bullets was unresolved during the two-day visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Nepal.
Expressing deep concern over the inability of the government to raise this issue during PM Modi's visit to Nepal, domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottlers said that the government seems to be in no mood to implement its plan to substitute Indian LPG bullets to supply cooking gas in the country.
“The government should not have brought this plan and allowed the private sector to order and purchase their own LPG bullets if it cannot facilitate bottlers to implement the plan. As Indian authorities are refusing to issue non-explosive certificates to Nepali bullets and the government is not serious, a huge investment of bottlers is at risk,” said Shiva Prasad Ghimire, immediate past president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association.
Though hundreds of Nepali LPG bullets have been manufactured in India as claimed by domestic gas companies, they are unable to enter into the fuel-ferrying business following refusal of Indian authorities to issue the non-explosive certificate, a mandatory document for bottlers to collect cooking gas from Indian gas refineries.
On the other hand, government authorities have been blaming each other for not sorting out the issue. “It is the responsibility of NOC to facilitate gas bottlers in every process as it was NOC that issued permits to LPG bottlers to purchase their own gas bullets,” said an official of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS), seeking anonymity.
It looks like Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) allowed LPG bottlers to purchase their own gas bullets without enough groundwork, the official added.
On the other hand, officials of NOC have been saying it has repeatedly requested Indian authorities to facilitate Nepali gas firms in getting non-explosive certificate. “As Indian authorities have shown less concern to NOC's request, the issue can be resolved only through government-to-government level,” said Sushil Bhattarai, acting deputy managing director at NOC.