KATHMANDU, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Nepal has opened petroleum imports to private sector, ending decades of monopoly by state- owned Nepal Oil Corporation upon the sector.
"The private sector is now at par with the state-owned corporation. Both of them have been equally authorized to import oil and involved in refining businesses," said Dipak Subedi, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies on Tuesday.
The participation of private sector in the business became possible with the publication of 'Petroleum and Gas Transaction Regulatory Order 2013' published in Nepal Gazette on Monday.
"With the new law in place, we expect easy supply of fuel and benefit to consumers at a time when we are often exposed to fuel shortage and a lot of problems created by it," said Subedi.
As per the new arrangement, anyone with a paid-up capital of around 120 million U.S. dollars can establish a petrol, diesel and kerosene importing and refining company, while anyone in possession of around 60 million U.S. dollars can import and refine the petroleum gas.
Nepal Oil Corporation has been making huge losses and is in shambles due to poor management. The government last week provided a loan of around 12 million U.S. dollars to the corporation, so that it could pay dues to an exporting Indian company.
"We are also concerned about improving management of the corporation. For this, we are now conducting an Organization and Management Survey O &M, of the corporation," added Subedi.