KATHMANDU, Aug 3: Overturning the government's decision to allow liquefied petroleum (LP) gas bottlers to procure gas bullets, the parliamentary Commerce, Industries and Consumer Welfare Relation Committee has directed the Ministry of Supplies (MoS) to facilitate bottlers in the procurement process.
The meeting of the committee held on Tuesday took the decision to this effect.
A day after the state-owned Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) decided to allow bottlers to procure gas bullets, MoS directed NOC to stop the process until necessary by-laws are formulated.
Speaking at the meeting, lawmakers argued that the decision of allowing bottlers to have their own gas bullets was a step toward reducing complete independency on Indian for petroleum products. “Allowing Nepali bottlers to have their own fleet of gas bullets is the need of the hour. We direct the government to facilitate the bottlers in procurement of gas bullets instead of halting the procurement process,” Bhisma Raj Aangdambe, president of the committee, said.
Supply of cooking gas is completely in the hands of Indian transporters. Neither NOC, nor gas bottlers or dealers have any gas bullet. Because of this, the country has been seeing shortage of LP gas time and again.
The decision to allow Nepali bottlers to procure gas bullets could save Rs 3.5 billion annually which Indian transporters have been taking from Nepal.
The parliamentary panel further stated that the decision to halt the gas bullet procurement process was a deviation of policy as the government, in the budget speech, had encouraged bottlers to acquire gas bullets by announcing two-thirds customs duty waiver.
Meanwhile, the committee also directed MoS to complete the task of preparing by-laws on petroleum and LP gas bullets within a month. It has also directed the ministry to coordinate with NOC and other stakeholders before taking any policy decisions.