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Nepal: Token system in wake of fuel shortage

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source: onenewspage.us

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Kathmandu: The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) on Sunday was thinking of introducing a token system for distribution of petroleum products to consumers, as the nation is reeling under a severe shortage of fuel and other essential items in the wake of an alleged undeclared blockade from the Indian side.

With fuel stocks running low, the Nepal government has begun implementing the odd-even transportation system from Sunday for all types of vehicles, except those used for essential supplies. It means vehicles with odd registration numbers can ply on odd dates of the month while those with even plate numbers can operate on even dates.

International airlines too have been asked to refuel planes abroad due to insufficient stocks at the Nepal Oil Corporation’s depot at Tribhuvan International Airport here.

State-run petroleum stations have been rationing fuel to transporters, forcing people to form long queues in front of petrol stations run by the army and police.

Only three oil tankers left India for Nepal on Sunday from Jamuniha entry point of Nepal-India border in Banke district, apart from two truckloads of potato and one of tomato. Officials said India was allowing only those essential items and food that could rot if left stranded.

Nepal’s ministry of foreign affairs on Sunday expressed concern over the obstruction in border trade and unnecessary delay in the movement and clearance of Nepal-bound cargo vehicles on the Indian side of the border.

In a statement, the ministry said the delay had led to a significant decline in the flow of essential goods into the Himalayan nation, adding that the supply of essentials had witnessed a reduction since September 23 despite the fact that the security situation in Terai region had remained the same or even improved gradually.

The Nepal LP Gas Industries Association said none of the refuelling plants had any cooking gas stock due to an “embargo” imposed by India.

The diplomatic and political standoff continues for the past four days as India expressed reservation over some provision of the new constitution promulgated in the Himalayan country on September 20.

While Nepal politicians have been accusing India of imposing an unofficial embargo, New Delhi has expressed concern over the situation in Nepal’s southern plains, adding that India had not imposed any embargo and difficulties faced by vehicles in crossing the India-Nepal border were due to the unrest in the Himlayan nation.

Meanwhile, reports in Nepali media said sections of student organisations had urged local cable operators not to broadcast Indian TV channels. Student organisations in Chitwan districts have banned broadcast of Indian channels to protest against Indian “highhandedness”.

A breakaway faction of Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), led by Netra Bikram Chand, said his party would ban Indian movies, Indian vehicles and TV channels within Nepali territory.

Some Nepali parties staged a protest in front of the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu against the alleged undeclared embargo by India.

 

(With inputs from IANS)

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Nepal, Pakistan agree to revitalise Saarc process

Nepal and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to revitalise the Saarc process for "greater peace, security and prosperity in the region"

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  • Nepal and Pakistan agreed to revitalise Saarc
  • This is done to promote greater peace and security
  • It will be apparently beneficial for both the nations

Nepal and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to revitalise the Saarc process for “greater peace, security and prosperity in the region” during talks that visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi held with the Himalayan nation’s leadership.

Nepal and Pakistan to revitalise SAARC process. Wikimedia Commons
Nepal and Pakistan to revitalise SAARC process. Wikimedia Commons

Abbasi on Tuesday met Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari and addressed a programme at the Saarc Secretariat here. He also held a meeting with CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” in the morning.

Bhandari and Abbasi hoped to reinvigorate the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) as an important regional organisation. The Pakistani leader said that “issues of the countries in the region should not affect the activities of Saarc and its performance”.

He emphasised the need to make Saarc “more effective” in the days ahead. Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in all areas of mutual importance, including political, economic, defence and cultural fields.

On Monday evening, Abbasi met his Nepali counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli and both decided to revitalise the stalled Saarc process.

Also Read: India pulled out of SAARC meeting that is to be held in Pakistan

The Pakistani leader sought to host the 19th Saarc Summit of the regional grouping and asked Nepal to create a “favourable environment” for the same. The summit has been postponed since 2016 after a military attack on an Indian Army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir.

After the attack, India unilaterally suspended its participation from the summit. Several member states rallied behind India’s position.

Nepal is the current chair of the regional grouping. Oli’s chief political advisor Bishnu Rimal said “both leaders held a common view on taking the Saarc forum ahead as it was a common platform for all member countries and still significant”.

The step is taken to improve relationships between the two countries.

Addressing a function at the Saarc Secretariat in Kathmandu, Abbasi said peace, security and mutual friendship were essential for the prosperity of South Asia.

“Pakistan has undivided belief in the Saarc objectives, ideologies and principles,” he said, adding that Islamabad was fully committed to the Saarc charter.

Abbasi also announced doubling the scholarships provided to Nepal by the Pakistan government and proposed to set up a joint parliamentary panel between Kathmandu and Islamabad. IANS