Cross-border oil pipeline: IOC asks govt to waive taxes on equipment

- ShareSansar, June 24, 2016  on Experts Speak

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has asked the Nepal government to waive taxes on equipment and logistics required for the construction of cross-border petroleum pipeline.

India is constructing the 41-km Raxaul-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline for Nepal in grant.

In a meeting held here on Thursday, an IOC team also urged the government to clear issues related to forest and land acquisition as soon as possible to kick-start the works, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) said.

A 10-member IOC team led by General Manager Subrata Ganguly is in Kathmandu for bilateral talks over the pipeline project. The team conducted a field visit of the project sites on Monday and Tuesday.

NOC Spokesperson Mukunda Ghimire said the IOC team has sought Nepal government’s commitment on tax exemption in written. During ministerial-level talks held earlier, the government had expressed its commitment to exempt the taxes.

The IOC team has also asked the government to provide “legal clearance” to use land and forest areas for the pipeline construction.

Ghimire said they are yet to receive clearance from the Road Department to use land alongside the highway. “Similarly, permission from the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation has to be taken for using forest

areas and chopping down trees,” he said, adding they have started the process to get approvals from the respective authorities.

IOC had earlier informed NOC that they had already prepared tender documents for the project construction. “As soon as the issues are addressed, IOC would formalise the tendering process,” Ghimire said.

The cross-border pipeline, which was stuck due to souring relation between the two countries, regained momentum after an NOC team visited to India three weeks ago.

The much-delayed project is expected to ensure regular fuel supply to Nepal. The pipeline will transport petrol, diesel and kerosene.

In the first phase, a pipeline will be laid from Raxaul to Amlekhgunj. The Rs4.40-billion project is expected to be completed within 30 months after the work begins.
Source: ekantipur