The Ministry of Supply on Wednesday approved working guidelines to allow private companies, diplomatic agencies and essential and emergency services to import petroleum for self-use.
Publishing a notice in the Nepal Gazette on December 18, 2015, the government had permitted these agencies to import the fuel for their own use for three months.
Joint Secretary Deepak Subedi said the ministry has forwarded guidelines to the Department of Commerce and Supply Management for implementation.
As per the provision, government-run and private companies, diplomatic agencies, hydropower companies, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, star hotels, media houses, “A” class financial institutions, and international non-government organisations can import petroleum products for their own use.
Although many of these institutions have expressed willingness to import fuel, they have not been able to do so the absence of the working guidelines.
The guidelines have barred private importers to sell the imported fuel for commercial purpose. A monitoring committee comprising representatives from the Supply Ministry, DoCSM, Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology and District Administrative Office would cross check the usage of the imported fuel. Private firms have to follow safety measures as prescribed by Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and NBSM while importing fuel.
Nepal has been reeling under the acute fuel shortages after India imposed an unofficial trade embargo about five months ago, severely affecting households, emergency services, and development projects.
According to NOC, it has been receiving only 30-35 percent of the total demand for petroleum products. As of Wednesday, NOC has 19,939kl of fuel (3,509kl petrol, 11,586kl diesel, 1,470kl kerosene and 3,374kl of aviation fuel) in its stock. Its total storage capacity stands at 71,198kl.
Source : ekantipur