21 gas bottlers apply for NS certificationTwenty-one liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottlers have applied for Nepal Standard (NS) certification after the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology began tightening the screws on plants delaying fulfilling safety requirements.
Twenty-one liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottlers have applied for Nepal Standard (NS) certification after the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology began tightening the screws on plants delaying fulfilling safety requirements.
The bureau has given gas bottlers 15 days to upgrade safety measures at their plants. It moved to enforce safety regulations following a devastating fire at Super Gas Factory in Sukhasaina, Parsa two weeks ago that claimed the lives of three people.
Last Friday, the bureau shut down two gas bottling plants in Kavrepalanchok district for violating safety regulations. It began extending its inspection to bottling plants in Dhading and Parsa districts on Sunday.
The bureau’s Director General Bishwo Babu Pudasaini said the 21 gas bottlers had applied for certification along with their tentative plans. “After the deadline ends, we will rigorously follow up on the inspection of gas bottling plants to check whether they have fulfilled the norms or not,” he said.
Gas bottling plants are required to hire the necessary technical manpower and observe safety measures besides being prepared for any kind of emergency on their premises. They also need to maintain a balance between their production and factory area.
Likewise, they have been told to examine their LPG cylinders on a regular basis and check the thickness of the cylinder wall, sludge deposit, valve safety and safety caps. They should also conduct hydraulic and leakage tests of the cylinders.
“We will carry out an audit of the gas bottlers to make sure they are maintaining the safety measures properly before providing them the NS mark,” Pudasaini said.
In November 2016, the bureau enforced the LPG Bottling Plant Operation Standards and directed gas plants to obtain NS certification within three months. However, LPG bottlers have been neglecting the directive saying it would push up their operating costs. Among the 55 gas bottling plants in the country, only four have obtained NS certification.
Factory owners began work to obtain certification after the bureau got tough and shut down Surya Gas and Chandeshwori Gas in Kavrepalanchok for flouting safety regulations. The regulatory body also asked for clarification from Sagarmatha Gas, the bottler of Sagar Gas brand cooking gas, for not following regulations.
Taskforce fails to submit report
A taskforce formed by the Ministry of Finance to scout ways to channel government’s surplus funds to the banking sector failed to submit its report within Sunday’s deadline. The taskforce will submit its report on Monday, a Finance Ministry source said. The taskforce has been formed under Ram Sharan Pudashaini, head of the Economic Policy Analysis Division at the Finance Ministry, to recommend ways to transfer a portion of fund from state coffers to banks and financial institutions that are facing shortage of funds to disburse loans. Earlier the government had said around Rs70 billion to Rs80 billion could be made available to banking institutions to ease the shortage of loanable funds.