KATHMANDU, Jan 25: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has directed the officials concerned to maintain storage of petroleum products to meet the demand for 90 days.
Speaking at a meeting with the officials of the Ministry of Supplies, Ministry of Finance and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) at his office on Tuesday, Dahal assured that the government would provide needful budget to build petroleum storage facilities. He also directed the officials to extend the Raxaul-Amlekhgunj petroleum pipeline up to Chitwan.
On the occasion, officials of the Ministry of Supplies officials requested the PM to allocate Rs 57 billion for building petroleum storage facilities. “Total cost is estimated at Rs 117 billion. The government should provide us Rs 57 billion as we don't have sufficient budget to build storage facilities," said Minister for Supplies Deepak Bohara.
Since we have to build one storage facility in each province, we have sought sufficient budget, Bohara said. “NOC is planning to build storage facilities under public-private partnership," he added.
As NOC's existing storage facility can meet the demand of few weeks only, long queues can be seen in petrol pumps if fuel supply is affected for even a day.
While NOC has sought Rs 57 billion for build petroleum facilities, it is preparing to distribute Rs 1.14 billion worth of bonus to its staffers. A source at the NOC told Republica that the petroleum monopolist was preparing to distribute after the corporation became debt-free this year.
Last year, NOC had set aside Rs 900 million to distribute bonus among its staffers.
However, its plan could not materialize as the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Supplies told it to repay the loans first. This time around, NOC has allocated Rs 2 billion for bonus. But it knocks the doors of the government whenever if faces loss.
NOC also collects millions of rupees from customers in the name of Infrastructure Fund.
But it does not spend the amount thus raised for infrastructure development.