Bottlers allowed to sell half-filled LPG cylindersMinistry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) on Wednesday gave its go-ahead to bottlers to sell half-filled cooking-gas cylinders. A normal cylinder has 14.2kg gas.
Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) on Wednesday gave its go-ahead to bottlers to sell half-filled cooking-gas cylinders. A normal cylinder has 14.2kg gas.
“The ministry’s move is aimed at providing the gas to more consumers,” Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) Director Nagendra Sah said, acknowledging the receipt of a ministry letter to this effect. He added the provision, however, was not mandatory.
According to the NOC, 44 LPG bullets that entered Nepal this week are ready for distribution. These bullets entered through Bhairahawa, Dhangadhi, Kakadbhitta and Biratnagar customs points.
LP Gas Industry Association President Shiva Ghimire said the ministry’s decision would help them distribute cooking gas to more people. “At a time when we are facing immense pressure to meet the overwhelming demand, the provision will ease the distribution,” he said. However, there are concerns the bottlers might abuse the provision to sell underweight cylinders as the bottlers have been found involved in such malpractices even during normal times. But Ghimire said the consumers could always weigh their cylinders before buying. “This is just a temporary measure, so I request all not to be too sceptical,” said Ghimire.
He said LPG dealers would be first asked to sell the half-filled cylinders. “But if the dealers decline to do so citing security concerns from desperate customers, the bottlers will sell the gas directly through their plants,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government on Wednesday decided to bear the additional transport costs to bring in the gas bullets from alternative routes. Ghimire said the bottlers had been reluctant to sell LPG citing the additional costs they had to bear while re-routing the gas bullets.
After a month of the India-imposed unofficial trade blockade, NOC has taken steps to re-route the LPG bullets from the Raxaul-Birgunj trade route. According to the NOC a total of 225 gas bullets have been stuck on the Indian side of the border due to the obstruction.