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India seeks transit facility from Bangladesh to carry LPG

An Indian company has sought transit facility from Bangladesh to carry liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to its bottling plants.

IndianOil, the national oil company of India, wants to set up bottling plants in Tripura and Mizoram, using Chittagong.

The request was made as the company was encountering shortfall and logistic issues for meeting the growing demand for LPG from the north-eastern states of the country.   

The company will source LPG from French company Totalgaz which has import facility near Chittagong and has surplus capacity after meeting the local demand.

The IndianOil will transport the bulk LPG from Totalgaz`s depot by road tankers to its LPG plant in Tripura from a suitable border transit point.

The company has requested the ministry of commerce to finalise working modalities based on bilateral trade agreement between Bangladesh and India so that it can start transportation of the product through Bangladesh territory.

In this connection it has also requested the ministry for finalising the charges relating to transportation, other services and costs as well as other relevant taxes and fees applicable for LPG import at Chittagong and movement by road tankers to Tripura.

Sources said before seeking transit facility the IndianOil had discussion with Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) for sourcing LPG from the state-run company.

However, BPC officials informed the IndianOil officials that the company does not have surplus LPG; rather there is net shortfall of the item in Bangladesh.

Tripura has a demand of 172,535 LPG cylinders per month while IndianOil was able to supply 167,197 cylinders per month during last April-August period, sources said.

The official said the issue of providing transit facility of LPG will be forwarded to the high-ups of the government for a decision.

Contacted, a senior official at the ministry of shipping said Bangladesh is presently working to fix transit fees for Indian goods.

The issue of LPG transportation through Bangladesh territory can be settled only after the transit fees are fixed with consent from both the countries, he said.

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