Nepal and India today reviewed the progress on the proposed IRs 1000-million pipeline project for supply of petroleum products from Raxaul in Bihar to Amlekhgunj in Nepal.
The issue came up for discussion between India's commerce secretary Rahul Khullar and his visiting counterpart Purushottam Ojha in New Delhi.
“Currently Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) is getting petroleum products from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) depot in Raxaul,” Ojha said, adding that it is all transported by tankers. “So we have planned to connect Amlekhgunj to Raxaul as it will save cost and has a lot of advantages.
“The project cost was estimated at IRs 840 million when proposed in 2009. However, it would cost IRs 1,000 million now,” the commerce secretary said.
While the project is important for the bilateral trade, it is not yet clear as to how the resources for the same are going to be raised.
If implemented, the project is expected to reduce fuel transportation cost by 40 per cent to Nepal and help land-locked Nepal smooth supply.“India remains our largest trading partner. Since we have supply side constraints, we aspire for investments particularly from India," Ojha said.
New Delhi has been complaining that the third country shipments enter Indian markets through Nepal which enjoys preferential trade with India. The bilateral trade between the countries stood at $2.7 billion in 2010-11.