Nepal | July 16, 2020

LPG outlets witness serpentine queues

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, February 26

Threat from bottlers to halt the supply of cooking gas in the domestic market from March 1 has led to panic buying in the capital, with distributors of liquefied petroleum gas witnessing long queues outside their depots.

Tripti Adhikari, a resident of New Baneshwor, was standing in a queue outside one such outlet in Anamnagar to purchase a cylinder of cooking gas, fearing possible shortage of LPG in the near future.

LPG bottlers are miffed at the government for overlooking concerns raised by them and LPG distributors have expressed their solidarity with the protest announced by bottlers.

Demanding that the government raise the commission for bottlers and LPG distributors, bottlers have warned the government that they will halt collection of LPG product delivery order from Nepal Oil Corporation from March 1.

Product delivery orders are required to collect Nepal-bound LPG from Indian Oil Corporation.

Bottlers have also threatened to completely halt the loading of LPG from all refineries of IOC, beginning March 6 and shutting down all LPG bottling plants from March 12.

Currently, NOC is providing commission of Rs 30.55 per cylinder to bottlers and Rs 32 per cylinder to distributors.

“We were compelled to announce the protest against the government as it is reluctant to address concerns raised by bottlers and distributors. As the public fears shortage of cooking gas, the demand for LPG has increased,” said Chandra Thapa, senior vice-president of Gas Dealers’ Federation of Nepal.

Meanwhile, NOC has said that LPG bottlers and distributors will not be allowed to halt the supply of cooking gas at any cost. “Halting supply of LPG, an essential product, will not be tolerated. Disputes have to be resolved through talks, not protests,” said Birendra Goit, spokesperson for NOC.

Stating that almost 1,100 tonnes of LPG is being supplied to the market daily, Goit warned distributors not to create artificial shortage of LPG. “We’ll also start monitoring the market to ensure that LPG supply is effective,” added Goit.

Meanwhile, NOC has called bottlers and distributors for talks to address their concerns tomorrow.

 


A version of this article appears in print on February 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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