Country faces shortfall of ‘55,000 tonnes’ of cooking gasGas bottlers have said the country still faces a shortfall of 55,000 tonnes of cooking gas as a result of the four-and-half-month-long India’s trade embargo which ended in the first week of February.
Gas bottlers have said the country still faces a shortfall of 55,000 tonnes of cooking gas as a result of the four-and-half-month-long India’s trade embargo which ended in the first week of February.
Nepal LP Gas Industry Association President Shiva Ghimire blamed the short-supply for Nepal Oil Corporation’s (NOC) failure to import adequate quantity of cooking gas. “Had the government been able to increase the import multi-fold for at least three to four
months after the embargo
ended, the consumers would
not have suffered,” he said at
an interaction on “Current Challenges of Supply Management” organised by Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) here on Wednesday.
NOC, as of the last fiscal year, has certified a total of 6.5 million cylinders of 55 gas bottlers. According to Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology, an additional 500,000 new
cylinders could have been
circulated in the market during the Indian blockade.
Ghimire also attributed the shortage to the consumers’ tendency to hoard cooking gas fearing of a possible shortage in the future, which has raised the demand significantly.
“If the current demand-supply gap is not addressed timely, it will cause serious problem during the festival season and next winter,” he said. NCC Secretary Santosh Kumar Pandey blamed the LPG shortage to NOC’s uneven quota distribution to bottlers. “Bottlers having low
capacities have been distributing a large number of LPG
cylinders, while those having high capacities have been supplying less,” he said.
The traders also said weak government monitoring and retailers taking distributorship of several LPG brands resulted in the shortage.
Supply Minister Ganesh Man Pun said the lack of coordination among multiple government agencies responsible for market monitoring led to uneven distribution of cooking gas.
He said the government failed make supply management a national priority.
Refuting the traders’ claim of uneven quota distribution, NOC Managing Director Gopal Bahadur Khadka said the
corporation has been assigning quota based on the bottlers’ capacity. He claimed the current shortage is an outcome of flaws in the distribution system rather than poor supply.