| May 23, 2019

NOC dragging its feet on LP gas dual-pricing

KATHMANDU, March 10: Dual pricing system on liquefied petroleum (LP) gas is unlikely to be implemented anytime soon.

It has already been more than two months that the cabinet endorsed the draft of Supply and Distribution Orders gave go-ahead to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to implement the system by preparing working guideline. But NOC management has not given final shape to the working guideline.

As per the system, NOC has said that it will introduce red cylinders for household users and blue cylinders for commercial users. It plans to continue subsidy on red cylinders, but sell blue cylinders as per the market price.

LP gas cylinder cost Rs 1,470 at present. The government has been providing a subsidy of Rs 48.08 per cylinder.
NOC board members, who have been accusing NOC management for ignoring board decisions time and again, say the management has done nothing to prepare the guideline and enforce dual-pricing system.

“Looks like the NOC management does not want to enforce the dual-pricing system. It has not even made necessary preparation to introduce the system,” Bishwobabu Pudasaini, a board member of NOC, said. “Going by the preparation, I can say that it won’t be implemented any time soon.”

Officials of NOC and Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) do not have convincing answers. While Deepak Subedi, spokesperson of MoCS, said NOC management has not informed the ministry about the progress made in implementation of dual-pricing system, NOC Spokesperson Mukunda Ghimire said the management has not been able to allocate sufficient time on implementation front.

“We have already prepared the draft of working guidelines,” Ghimire said, adding, “We have not been able to finalize it as our focus, over the past few months, was on making supply of LP gas smooth. Ghimire said the management will table the guidelines to the board for approval after holding needful discussion on the draft with the stakeholders.