IOC agrees to increase cooking gas supplyThe Supply Ministry has said that the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has agreed to supply 37,000 tonnes of cooking gas every month to Nepal.
The Supply Ministry has said that the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has agreed to supply 37,000 tonnes of cooking gas every month to Nepal.
According to the ministry, the Indian supplier expressed the matter through a written commitment to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).
Ananda Ram Regmi, joint secretary at Supply Ministry, said IOC had expressed its commitment in line with the understanding of the two governments. According to him, supplies could be eased if Nepal imported 37,000 tonnes of cooking gas every month.
Nepal has been reeling under an acute shortage of cooking gas since India the imposed trade embargo on September 22. Even after the end of the five-month long embargo, people have been struggling to receive a cylinder of cooking fuel. The short supply has been often blamed to the low quantity of import.
NOC Spokesperson Mukunda Ghimire said the agreement was inked during the meeting of two organisations that was held in Kolkata on April 20-21. According to the NOC, the quantity is enough to refill 2.6 million gas cylinders. A total of 55 gas bottlers have been selling their products through 6.5 million cylinders across the country.
Of the agreed quantity, IOC will be providing 13,000 tonnes from its depot in Barauni, 17,000 tonnes from Haldiya and 7,000 tonnes from Mathura. “On our request to increase supply of cooking gas, IOC has expressed its commitment in a written form,” he said. Previous to the trade embargo, Nepal had been importing 29,000 tonnes of gas per month from IOC’s depots in three locations. Of the total quantity, Barauni and Haldiya each used to supply 450 tonnes of cooking gas daily. Similarly, the supply from IOC depot in Mathura supplied 180 tonnes daily.
Although NOC has been mulling to increase import to more than 30,000 tonnes every month, it has been failing to do so due to various reasons. Nepal imported the targeted quantity in March. However, the supply target was missed in April with NOC importing only 27,000 tonnes in the month.
Ghimire said the import seemed to also decline in May. As of Wednesday, Nepal imported only 5,500 tonnes, NOC records show.
According to Ghimire, IOC officials in Haldiya have reduced supply in the past few days due to ‘technical problems’ in the production plant. “We are receiving only 15-16 bullets at the depot compared to the normal supply of 25-30,” he said.