Call to regulate LPG supply

Government urged to issue fewer licences to supply gas

Kathmandu, December 13:

The Liquified Petroleum Gas Industries’ Association and Federation of Gas Dealers today called the government to form a comprehensive policy for the proper regulation of the cooking gas business.

Organising a press conference, the organisations clarified that the amount of LPG allocated for supplies was unproportional to the number of licensed gas industries in the country, which only increased the number of cylinders and difficulty in the access of supplies.

President of the FGD Gyaneshwor Aryal accused the government of not having strong policies to regulate the operation of the existing gas industries and criticised their plan to distribute licence to new industries, saying it would only encourage unhealthy competition since the 14,000 metric tonnes per month supply of Liquified Petroleum Gas by the government would not increase. Currently there are 27 LPG industries operating in the country.

“Increase in the number of industries would encourage useless investment and unhealthy competition between the industries, instigating incorrect and risky actions like replacing the logos of other companies with their own,” Aryal added.

He said the entry of new companies to the market would make the situation more complex, adding, “People will also need to buy the cylinders along with the gas if the number of gas industries are increased.”

If the Nepal Oil Corporation provides licence to more industries like in the past years, as much as Rs 4 billion will go to foreign countries just for building the infrastructure for the new factories.

The market will not increase, neither will the import of the LPG, said Aryal, adding, “It will be a waste of money if new industries are allowed in the business.”

The current industries have capacity of supplying 54,000 metric tonnes of LPG every month which is far more than the amount imported by Nepal Oil Corporation, said Sanwar Mal Agrawal, president of the LPGIA. He said LPG firms were running two weeks a month due to the shortage of LPG.

They called the government for the establishment of proper infrastructure, formation of proper policy to determine new amendments and a policy for strong monitoring to ensure the rights of the consumers, after carefully assessing the market situation. They also requested the government not to make hasty and careless decisions.