Petroleum is not a political issue: Minister

Petroleum is not a political issue: Minister

Petroleum has been treated as a political issue not as a commodity which has hurt the people and economy, according to commerce and supplies minister. "The politics on petroleum products has not only forced Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) incur losses but also hit the economy hard," said commerce and supplies minister Shankar Prasad Koirala, during the first trimester meeting of the ministry, here today. The private sector profits and the government enterprises loses in the same business, which calls for a detailed review of the public enterprises, he said, adding that the government would not hesitate to take any hard decision for the future of the state-oil monopoly and protect tax paid by the common people. The public enterprise (PEs) have become huge liability to the government as most of them have been incurring losses or been closed but the government is still paying the salary of the employee. The heads of the public enterprises have on the occasion, submitted progress report of their enterprises, most of which are in financial turmoil. Asking to monitor the market to crack whip on inflation, Koirala said that the public enterprises were established to serve the people, and if they fail to deliver, they must have some weaknesses. "If they do not have enough budget, the Finance Ministry is ready to help," Koirala, who is also finance minister, added. "However, the Commerce and Supplies Ministry has to have detail plan on how to reverse the import-based economy into export-based. The ministry should provide incentives to boost exports."
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