Taskforce formed to clean up LPG mess

Kathmandu, June 11:

The government has formed a taskforce to check irregularities related to weight and the condition of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders and recommend a way out.

The taskforce has been given one month to carry out a in-depth study and recommend the government ways to control irregularities. The government’s latest move came following increased complaints related to low weight, use of outdated cylinders, hoarding and black marketing, change in bottom colour, misuse of company trademark and breakage of seal and so on.

The taskforce headed by a director of the department of commerce (DoC) has been directed to carry out market inspection and monitoring throughout the country and collect information to prepare the report.

Besides officials of from DoC, the taskforce comprises of representatives from Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), Nepal Bureau of Standard and Metrology (NBSM), district administration office, security agencies and Consumer Rights Forum.

Despite the government’s provision for market inspection officer to inspect the market and ensure smooth supply of daily consumer goods and basic food items, black marketing and cheating in price and weight are rampant, said an official at DoC. According to him, the number of complains lodged at different commerce offices has doubled in the last two years.

The official further added that the taskforce will also examine the LP gas bottling companies to check whether they have adhered to quality and quantity norms set by the government. We have already asked the NOC, the department of industry and NBSM to furnish details of the gas bottling companies, said Shanker Prasad Poudel, coordinator of the taskforce and director at DoC.

“The taskforce will examine all documents and provisions in existing rules and regulations regarding quality and quantity assurance,” said Poudel, adding that the team would also recommend the government ways for improvement in the provisions, if needed.

The government is planning to invite Indian experts to inspect the physical condition of gas bottling plants as well as their safety measures.

Kathmandu valley consumes 80 per cent of the monthly total import of over 9,000 metric tonnes of LPG.