Nepali Times
Letters
Gas problems


After reading your editorial Kleptomaniacs anonymous (#112) and a recent news item that the Nepal Oil Corporation, (NOC) is considering a hike in the price of petroleum products to check cross-border smuggling, I am tempted to offer my suggestions, since I used to own a gas station in Jhapa.

A price hike is not the only solution to this crisis. The major fault started with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply issuing gas station licenses indiscriminately to everyone who could bribe them or show an approach to higher officials. This practice started after democracy. The result is that there are more gas stations than are necessary for the Nepali market. The new gas stations could not get enough business to see a return on their investment. Gas stations bordering India have a good opportunity to sell their products in India. This brought more profit than selling gas in Nepal itself. The open Indo-Nepal border is a drawback, and customs officials on both sides are no deterrence. NOC and the ministry should immediately regulate the licenses, and privatise the import of petroleum products. What we need from the ministry and the NOC now is commitments, not more comment.

Pravesh Saria,
Chicago, USA


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LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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