Minister Bhatta rules out handing over petroleum import responsibility to private sector

Published On: February 27, 2021 07:45 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 27: Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Lekh Raj Bhatta on Saturday clarified that the responsibility to import petroleum products could not be given to the private sector as this is related to the matters concerning national security. 

Giving an example of how India's decision to give responsibility to import petroleum products to a multi-national company invited various negative consequences, Minister Bhatta ruled out the possibility of handing over the authority to import petroleum products to the private sector as an alternative to the state-owned Nepal Oil Corporation. 

Minister Bhatta made the remarks while addressing the seventh annual general meeting and fourth national general convention of the Gas Dealers Federation Nepal in the capital on Saturday. "The import of petroleum products is a serious issue. The state should take all its responsibility," he argued. 

Minister Bhatta, however, assured that he was ready to remove all types of hurdles faced by gas dealers to operate their business. "The House of Representatives has been just restored. Please do not think that the problems of the private sector won't be resolved without ousting the incumbent government from power. This government will solve all the problems faced by entrepreneurs," he said. 

On the occasion, Deputy Executive Director of the NoC Sushil Bhattarai drew the attention of the concerned authority to safety of sales depots while gas dealers complained that their margins were reduced. Bhattarai also suggested that their margins be settled through a dialogue. 

President of the Federation Maheshwor Kumar Shrestha said the Federation has been working for the welfare and rights of gas dealers. The general convention will elect a new leadership for a two-year term.

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