Team to leave for Beijing tomorrowThe government is planning to send a team to Beijing to sign the first commercial oil trade deal with China only on Monday, as some technical issues including local taxation on petroleum products, remain unresolved.
The government is planning to send a team to Beijing to sign the first commercial oil trade deal with China only on Monday, as some technical issues including local taxation on petroleum products, remain unresolved.
Minister for Commerce and Supplies Ganesh Man Pun said the seven-member team would leave for China on Monday after finalising all the technical procedures. Earlier, the team was scheduled to leave for Beijing on Friday. The delay in sending the government team to Beijing has also been attributed to two-day holiday (Saturday and Sunday) in China.
“Two major technical issues - local tax waiver and risk control measures - are yet to be resolved,” Pun said.
According to Pun, Nepal’s Ambassador to China Mahesh Maskey has been assigned to settle the local taxation issue. “Due to a long route, we also have to settle the risk measures for transportation or hazard protection measures which are essential parts of any trade deal.” Pun, however, said the deal would be concluded by next week.
Although Nepal and China have signed the double taxation avoidance agreement, officials said the local tax that China imposes on its products should also be waived so that the prices of oil purchased from China would be on par with the products Nepal has been importing from India.
“If the local tax is not waived, each litre of fuel imported from China will cost Rs 13 more,” the officials said. On Thursday, the government had named the team to sign the deal after PetroChina invited Nepal Oil Corporation to conclude the agreement.
On October 28, Nepal’s state oil monopoly had signed a framework agreement with PetroChina for commercial import of fuel. Nepal and China earlier had signed another deal as per which China had agreed to provide 1.3 million litres of petrol to Nepal in grant. Shipments
of the grant fuel were completed on Wednesday. Nepal plans to import at least one third of its petroleum demand from China.