Ending Indian monopoly, Nepal signs deal with China to import fuel

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Oct 29, 2015 17:54 IST
Nepalese oil tankers and commercial trucks stand stranded near a gate that marks the Nepalese border with India, in Birgunj. The fuel-starved Himalyan nation has turned to China for its gasoline needs, after India restricted its supplies due to the political protests in Kathmandu against the new Constitution. (AP Photo)

Nepal and China signed an agreement on Wednesday for supply of petroleum products to the Himalayan nation -- ending four decades of Indian monopoly.

Nepal is facing severe crisis of petroleum products since over a month due to Madhesi protesters opposed to the new constitution blocking border points with India, which has affected entry of tankers from the southern neighbour.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed at Beijing between Nepal Oil Corporation and state-owned China National United Oil Corporation for supply of petroleum products from China to Nepal.

The MoU was signed by managing director of NOC Gopal Bahadur Khadka and vice-president of CNUOC Zhang Tong, in the presence of senior Nepali and Chinese officials.

“A separate contract was also signed for the expeditious delivery of the 1,000 metric tonne petroleum grant assistance provided by the government of China to Nepal as a goodwill gesture,” said a press release issued by the Nepali embassy in Beijing.

Till date, state-owned Indian Oil Corporation was the sole supplier of petroleum products to Nepal. But with China stepping in to ease the fuel crisis, India would no longer have sole control over supply of fuel.

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