Industry secy, NOC asked to explain fuel shortage

Kathmandu, November 23:

The parliamentary Finance Committee today sought explanation from Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Purusottam Ojha and General Manager at the Nepal Oil Corporation Digambar Jha over the shortage of petroleum products even after the price hike.

Lawmakers at the committee asked Ojha and Jha to furnish reasons behind the shortage of petroleum products, including Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). “We have asked them to come up with convincing reasons in some days,” lawmaker Shila Yadav told this daily. Secretary Ojha told lawmakers that NOC is yet to settle outstanding dues amounting to some Rs 11 billion. While the NOC is yet to clear the dues of some Rs 3 billion to the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the rest of the money is to be paid back to Nepali financial institutions.

Ojha also said that since the NOC has not been able to pay back the remaining amount to the IOC, the supply of the petroleum products has not been smooth. It should be noted that Finance Minister Dr Ram Saran Mahat had, yesterday, rejected the loan of Rs 500 million requested by the NOC to clear the outstanding dues to ensure smooth supply of petroleum products.

“The committee will call the newly-appointed Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Shyam Sunder Gupta, to seek information on the shortage of petroleum products and the price hike,” Secretary at the Finance Committee Thakur Baral said.