Saturday, June 15, 2013

NOC brings dual colour cooking gas cylinders

The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has finally implemented the dual colour cooking gas cylinder from today.
Minister for commerce and supplies Shankar Koirala, after two failed attempts, today launched the dual colour Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders — red for domestic use and blue for industrial purposes – though the price of both the cylinder will remain equal for the time being.
The dual colour gas cylinder provision was envisioned to provide limited subsidy to domestic consumers, including students and cut subsidy to industrial users that will reduce the debt burden of the state oil entity.
The dual gas cylinder will reduce the losses being incurred by NOC, said minister Koirala. “It will reduce the burden of subsidy on government,” he said, adding that the government has planned to subsidise LPG cylinders for domestic use, whereas the market price will be applicable for commercial purposes.
Currently, the NOC is incurring a loss of Rs 363.84 per cylinder.
Around 4.4 million cooking gas cylinders are being used for domestic and commercial purposes, at present.
However, consumer groups said that the programme was launched without distributing consumer cards – first – as it is a must to claim subsidy.
NOC has distributed consumer cards to only half of the 958,671 consumers so far.
“The government will withdraw subsidy on blue cylinders once it covers entire commercial sector,” according to acting executive director of NOC Suresh Kumar Agrawal.
The country has a monthly demand of about 16,000 metric tonnes of cooking gas. At present, a LPG cylinder (14.2 kg) costs Rs 1,470. The government is planning to subsidise six cylinders for a family annually.

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