New Delhi: India on Friday said that petroleum supplies to Nepal have been affected due to obstructions on the Nepalese side of the border and said it remains to be seen how the MoU signed by the Himalayan country with Petro China will help it.
Answering queries from media persons here, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the government had seen reports of Nepal signing a memorandum of understanding with Petro China to import all kinds of fuel from its northern neighbour.
“It will be known in the future (about MoU),” he said.
He said at present petroleum supplies to Nepal go from India with Raxaul-Birgunj crossing accounting for 70 percent of the trade, but the crossing was closed from the Nepal side.
Swarup said Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was able to send about 30 percent of earmarked supplies to Nepal and added that India was willing to airlift aviation turbine fuel.
“We have facilitated airlift of aviation turbine fuel earlier. We are ready to facilitate future similar operations and requests,” he said.
Referring to agitation by Madhesi parties, Swarup said that one section of Nepalese population was not agreeable to constitution and it was obstructing supplies.
He said there was no blockade by India and trucks were going from crossings where there was no obstruction on the Nepalese side. He said “LPG bullets” are also being sent through crossings that are open.
Noting trade ties between India and Nepal were multi-faceted and stand on their own merit, Swarup said half of foreign investment in Nepal is by India.
He said India was trying that supplies become normalised but it cannot happen as till Raxaul-Birgunj crossing was opened.
He hoped that the problem will be solved and relationship will come come to original status.
“There has to be acknowledgment of the problem that exists on Nepal side and efforts to address them in a sincere manner,” Swarup said.
Nepal had on Wednesday signed a MoU with Petro China in order to import all kinds of fuel from China, ending a long-held monopoly of buying fuel from the IOC.