More electric cooktops being imported in Nepal

This undated image shows the building of the Department of Customs in Tripureshwor, Kathmandu. Photo courtesy: DoC

KATHMANDU: More electric cooktops have been imported in the past months to optimise its surplus hydropower, the latest data of the Department of Customs under the Ministry of Finance showed.

A total of 10,435 electric cooktops were imported into the country in the fiscal year 2019/20. The import figure rose to 152,588 of which 125,530 pieces were brought from China in the fiscal year 2020/21, according to the department.

During the first four months of the current fiscal year, 11,269 electric cooktops were imported, with China contributing 9,149 pieces.

Punya Bikram Khadka, information officer at the Department of Customs said that more cooktops have been imported along with other electrical equipment as the country has now abundant power.

Currently, most of the urban households in Nepal use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking.

Nepal had a power outage lasting up to 18 hours per day from 2006 to 2017, but it is currently producing around 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, with 1,900MW generated from hydropower projects, while the peak-hour demand for power stands at around 1,500MW, according to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

Apart from seeking to electrify the households along with irrigation, industries and vehicles, the government has also started selling the surplus power through the Indian market.

The authorities have cut tariffs to encourage more power consumption, while Suresh Bahadur Bhattarai, the NEA’s spokesman that work is being done to improve the power distribution for more use of electricity in kitchens.

LPG and other petroleum are the largest import item for Nepal.

LPG worth Rs 36.18 billion ($300 million) were imported into the country in the fiscal year 2020/21, up from Rs 27.89 billion ($232 million) in the previous fiscal year, according to the department.

Source: RSS/Xinhua

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