Petroleum pipeline pact within 3 weeks: Minister Thapa

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NEW DELHI, APR 10 – The signing on the bilateral agreement regarding the 41-km Amlekhgunj-Raxaul petroleum pipeline project between Nepal and India is scheduled to take place within the next three weeks.

Minister of Commerce and Supplies Sunil Thapa said so while on his personal visit to the Indian Capital, New Delhi. Minister Thapa arrived at the Indian Capital on Thursday to visit his father and former Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa who is scheduled to undergo an abdominal surgery today.

Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pardhan is scheduled to arrive in Kathmandu for the agreement.

“The Indian government has allocated a budget of Rs 2 billion for the project, from our side we will have to allot Rs 750 million to construct necessary infrastructure in Amlekhgunj,” informed Minister Thapa, “The project will complete within 30 months.”

According to Minister Thapa, the agreement of the pipeline project, that will be supplying petroleum products from India for five years, can be extended for another five years as per the need.

The project, which was first proposed by IOC in 1995, is expected to reduce the transportation cost of fuel by over 50 percent. It is also expected to end the frequent shortage due to strikes of petroleum transporters and adulteration of petroleum products.