Three major stakeholders of the petroleum business today threatened to halt petroleum supply from April 7, if the government does not revise its new decision.
Nepal LP Gas Industries Association, Nepal Petroleum Dealers’ Association and Nepal Petroleum Transporters’ Association, organising a press meet today, announced their protest programmes starting from April 2 and said they would completely halt the distribution of petroleum products from April 7, if the government does not roll back the Petroleum and Gas Trading Monitoring Directives-2069.
The government had introduced the directives in mid-March, opening up the petroleum business for the private sector. However, traders have been opposing the directives, claiming that it has been introduced in the interest of some big business houses.
The three major players in the business criticised the directives published in Nepal Gazette, and have said that the directives will hurt small traders currently in the business.
"The criterion set for the private sector to invest in the petroleum business is not logical," they said, threatening the government to stop petroleum supply.
The directives has set refilling capacity of 250 tonnes per day for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) plants and a stock capacity of at least 500 metric tonnes. The royalty of LPG bottlers has been increased to Rs 2.6 million and the current capital of the company should be Rs 500 million.
Similarly, petroleum dealers must have three tankers to carry petroleum products. The dealer should load at least 3,000 litres at a time. The provisions are unsuitable for traders, they said, adding that they do not have any option other than to protest. We will close our pumps and bottling plants from April 7, they said.
Last week, the associations had submitted their demand to chairman of the interim election government Khil Raj Regmi.
The country needs around 350,000 litres of petrol and around 400,000 litres of diesel every day under normal conditions and about 31 per cent of petroleum products is consumed in Kathmandu valley. In the first seven months of the current fiscal year the country has imported Rs 59.47 billion worth petroleum products from India due to rising consumption not only for transportation needs but also for operating the industries due to lack of regular power supply.