The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) has promised to address concerns of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) bottlers within a week after suppliers of cooking gas warned to launch a fresh round of strike. The assurance was given during a meeting between LPG bottlers and MoICS officials yesterday.
MoICS officials, during the meeting, told LPG bottlers that their issues could not be resolved earlier, as they were busy making preparations for the Nepal Investment Summit, which concluded last Saturday. “As soon as the summit was over, the storm in Bara and Parsa, which claimed lives of 28 people, kept us occupied,” MoICS officials told bottlers.
LPG bottlers had earlier demanded that the government raise commission for both bottlers and distributors of the cooking gas citing it had not been revised in over five years. Currently, NOC is providing commission of Rs 30.55 per cylinder to bottlers and Rs 32 per cylinder to distributors.
LPG bottlers had also asked the government to create conducive environment for Nepali bottlers to transport gas from India to Nepal in their own gas bullets.
LPG bottlers say they have invested billions of rupees to order gas bullets from India. But they say they have not been able to put them to use due to lack of ‘non-explosive certificate’, which must be issued by Indian authorities to pave the way for Nepali gas bullet operators to fetch gas from refineries of Indian Oil Corporation.
After these demands were not addressed, LPG bottlers had launched a strike. The strike was later recalled after the government formed a committee to study concerns raised by LPG bottlers. Recently, LPG bottlers had warned to launch a fresh round of strike after the committee delayed submission of its report.
“The committee will soon submit its report to the government. The government will take necessary decisions based on recommendations provided by the committee,” said MoICS Spokesperson Nabaraj Dhakal. “The government has sought one week’s time to address our concerns,” said Gokul Bhandari, president of the Nepal LP Gas Industry Association. “Bottlers will be obliged to halt gas supply if our concerns are not addressed within a week.”
The Himalayan Times