Kathmandu (Nepal) : India’s Ambassador to Nepal, Ranjit Rae, has said that New Delhi remains hopeful and positive about normalising fuel supply to Nepal.
Interacting with media persons in tourist spot Chitwan, Ambassador Rae, however, placed some of the blame for disrupted fuel supply on the Nepal Oil Corporation that failed to place its petroleum demand on time with New Delhi.
He also said that India is interested to extend assistance to Nepal to promote tourism.
Rae’s comment on disrupted fuel supply to Nepal came on the same day as his Nepali counterpart Deep Kumar Upadhyay said that Kathmandu is pushing New Delhi to restore oil and gas supply to the country that was disrupted five months ago by a Madhesi protest along the border in southern Nepal.
Upadhyay admitted that Nepal is completely dependent on India for fuel and any disruption in supply creates huge problems for the Himalayan state.
The public sector Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has been supplying petroleum products, diesel and kerosene to Nepal at Indian rates for the past four decades. There are currently 26 IOC-managed fuel supply trading points to the Nepal Oil Corporation.
Before the Madhesi agitation, India was supplying approximately 1.3 million tonnes of petroleum products there, worth around Rs 9,000 crore annually. This included petrol, diesel, kerosene and cooking gas, transported from IOC refineries in northern and eastern India to NOC’s depots across the border.
With China committing to supply 1,000 tonnes as a grant and agreeing to negotiate a long-term commercial agreement with NOC for future supply, India’s IOC runs the risk of losing a third of its fuel export business to Beijing. (ANI)