Nepal Oil Corporation vows to ease LPG supply

Kathmandu, October 11:

Though people have been facing shortage of cooking gas, the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and LP Gas Industries’ Association (LPGIA) have said that the LPG would be adequately available in the market very soon.

Saying that there was no shortage of cooking gas in the market, Digambar Jha, managing director of the NOC, said the unavailability of LPG to consumers could be due to prevailing black marketing and disruption in distribution because of the Dashain festival.

“Everyday we have been importing 550 metric tonnes (38 thousand cylinders) of LPG from India. Currently we have 3,000 metric tonnes in stocks,” Jha said, adding that the gas needed to be bottled and would be supplied to the market within two days.

Jha also said that the NOC distributed LPG to consumers from its office in Babarmahal during the Dashain festival and the distribution from the NOC office would continue from tomorrow.

“If consumers do not find LPG anywhere, they can come to the NOC’s office. They wouldn’t be returned empty-handed,” Jha promised.

Sanwar Mal Agrawal, president of LPGIA, said 31 tankers (each with 18 metric-tonne capacity) had been dispatched from Barauni today and 100 more would be dispatched tomorrow. “If NOC provides LPG as per the demand, the supply will ease within a week,” he added.

However, the Gas Dealers’ Association of Nepal (GDAN) said the supply was inadequate to meet the demand. GDAN president Gyaneshwor Aryal said the GDAN was planning to have a discussion with the Prime Minister to increase the supply.

“NOC made such promises in the past as well. However, the shortage of cooking gas is being felt in one way or the other for the last two years,” Aryal added.

Meanwhile, CA member Nabindra Raj Joshi today slammed the government for failing to monitor price rise of up to 30 to 50 per cent in daily commodities during the Dashain festival.

Issuing a press statement today, Joshi criticised the government’s inaction to ensure smooth supply of the much-needed fuel, particularly cooking gas.

“The people were victimised by the black marketeers as they had to pay more for cooking gas, diesel, petrol and kerosene,” he said, adding, “This sufficiently shows that the government is insensitive and lacks capacity to deliver.”

Joshi also asked the government to adjust fuel prices as per the international markets since the prices of crude fuel have fallen to $80 from $143 in the international market.