Bottlers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) have warned the government the country may face a shortage of the fuel due to fewer purchase delivery orders (PDOs) issued by Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).
They said the maintenance of India’s Barauni depot, scheduled to begin on October 8, could further worsen the situation.
NOC, however, said there won’t be any LPG shortage as it can procure the fuel from other Indian depots such as Haldiya. The oil monopoly also made it clear Indian Oil Corporation (NOC) has not informed about the maintenance of Barauni depot so far.
In a statement on Monday, Nepal LP Gas Industry Association said NOC’s reluctance to raise the PDO quota could create a shortage during Dashain and Tihar festivals. “The planned Barauni depot maintenance is reported to last for over a month,” said Shiva Prasad Ghimire, teh association’s president.
Ghimire said NOC failed to honour the understanding reached on September 8, under which the state-owned enterprise would raised the PDO quota at least for the festive season. “NOC had agreed to raise the quota by 3,100 tonnes during the festivals, but now it is reluctant to do so,” he said.
NOC currently issues PDOs for 22,277 tonnes a month, which it claims is more than enough to meet the current demand. But the bottlers have been claiming the quantity is inadequate to maintain smooth supply during the festivals when the demand rises multi-fold.
However, NOC says there’s no need for a hike in the quota. NOC Spokesperson Mukunda Ghimire said the bottlers have not even been able to purchase the quota-allocated quantity. According to NOC, the bottlers took PDOs for just 16,000 tonnes in Aug. “As of Sept 20, we have issued PDOs for 15,000 tonnes,” said Ghimire of NOC. “If found necessary, we will issue the PDOs for an additional 3,000 tonnes.”