Call to allow consumers to swap any brand of cooking gas cylinderLawmakers on Friday urged the government to implement a system allowing consumers to exchange their empty cooking gas cylinders for refilled cylinders of any brand.
Lawmakers on Friday urged the government to implement a system allowing consumers to exchange their empty cooking gas cylinders for refilled cylinders of any brand.
Under the current system, consumers can swap their empty cylinder for a full one of the same brand only. This puts them at a disadvantage because they can’t buy fuel even if it is available in the market, which is hard to come by as it is.
“Due to lack of a cylinder exchange system, consumers with cylinders of one brand are unable to buy refilled cylinders of other companies,” said lawmaker Rajya Laxmi Shrestha, speaking at a meeting of the parliamentary Industry, Commerce and Consumer Welfare Committee.
In response, Supply Secretary Shreedhar Sapkota said the ministry had held a round of discussions with bottlers about implementing a system allowing gas cylinders of different brands to be exchanged.
Although it has been almost two months since India lifted the trade embargo, gasoline shortages persist. Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) claims that it has been delivering adequate quantities of gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), but consumers still have a hard time obtaining them.
Lawmakers called for simplifying the exchange of gas cylinders amid mounting complaints that consumers are being forced to buy gas cylinders of a variety of brands. “A large number of consumers have not been able to exchange empty cylinders for full ones,” said lawmaker Subhas Chandra Thakuri.
Meanwhile, a number of Members of Parliament said that issuing purchase delivery orders to bottlers without considering their capacity had also hindered proper distribution of LPG. “Bottlers with a small capacity have received large purchase delivery orders while large bottlers have not been able to get enough gas. There has been no proper distribution,” said lawmaker Deepak Karki.
Supply Secretary Sapkota said the government had been holding talks with Indian transporters to obtain an additional number of LPG bullets to ease the gas shortage. “An Indian transporter is positive about providing 30-35 LPG bullets for the time being,” said Sapkota.
According to him, the ministry has requested the Indian government to boost fuel supplies by 25 percent. “We have also been lobbying with the Indian government for another 10,000 tonnes of LPG from next year citing an increase in demand,” he said.
NOC Managing Director Gopal Bahadur Khadka said there was a need to look for alternative suppliers of LPG. “If the government comes up with a new policy, NOC is ready to take the initiative to look for alternatives to Indian Oil Corporation,” said Khadka, adding that a number of foreign companies including those from the United Arab Emirates had shown interest in supplying fuel to Nepal.