Nepal lifts restrictions on fuel after deal with India

Nepal ends rationing and sales restrictions as supply from India improves, after end of border blockades by ethnic protesters

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

Nepalese Prime Pimister Kadga Prasad Sharma Oli has visited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19 February.

Rationing and sales restrictions on fuel have been lifted in Nepal following the end of a border blockade which cut oil supplies into the Himalayan nation. 

Deepak Baral of the state-owned Nepal Oil Corp, which has a monopoly on importing and supplying oil in Nepal, said drivers will be able to buy as much fuel as they want from Tuesday.

"The lifting of the rationing of fuel should end long lines at service stations and end difficulties for consumers," Baral said.

"We are now getting 70 percent of our normal fuel supply from India, with this there is no need to restrict distribution of fuel to the public."

India is Nepal's sole supplier of fuel and the small country is also dependent on India for medicine and other products.

However, Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli arrived in Delhi on February 19 for a six-day visit in which Oli met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Oli said the main purpose of his visit was "to clear the misunderstanding that surfaced in the last few months."

Protests by Nepal’s Madhesi minority, which has close ties with India, began in September 2015 against Nepal’s new constitution. 

The Madhesis in southern Nepal say the new constitution unfairly divides the Himalayan country into seven states with borders that cut through their ancestral homeland. They wanted the states to be larger and to be given more autonomy over local matters. 

The Madhesis called off their blockade in early February, allowing supply trucks stranded for more than four months to roll into the landlocked country after the government changed the constitution to provide greater political autonomy to the Madhesis and vowed to resolve other grievances through negotiations.

At least 50 people have been killed in the protests since August of 2015.

TRTWorld and agencies