Government to ease petroleum supply

Pokhara, May 25 :

Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Purushottam Ojha, has said that the government would soon introduce a package for trouble-free supply of the petroleum products in the country.

Sharma made the plan public at an interaction programme with the businessmen organised by the Pokhara Chamber of Commerce and Industries here today.

The package includes the adjustment of the petroleum prices on par with the international market prices, production of alternative energy, construction of hydro-electricity projects and a new scheme for the subsidy in petroleum products.

However, he did not say when the package will come into effect.

He also hinted that different price tags for the petroleum products are in the pipeline. The ministry maintained that the current price of petroleum products in Nepal dates back to the time when the international price was $ 80 per barrel, adding that the supply has faced a problem since the international price has now reached $ 135.

Pointing at the cement shortage in the market, he laid emphasis on the need for operating the cement industries at their full production capacity. He said the shortage of petroleum products, edible oil and food grains was also seen in Nepal as a reflection of the international situation, and added that the government was cautious to prevent their dearth in Nepal. He added that the government banned the export as a move to ease the supply situation in Nepal.

President of the Pokhara Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Dipak Shrestha, pleaded with the government to improve the supply situation in order to avert the crisis. He said the business community was ready to work with the ministry for resolving the problem.

Replying to a query, Secretary Ojha admitted that the import to Nepal soared as the government, after being a member of the SAFTA, had to cut import duty.