PAC directs ETFC to make necessary arrangement to collect additional tariff

Kathmandu, Jan 7: Already loss-suffered Nepal Electricity Authority is likely to incur additional loss with the direction of the Electricity Tariff Fixation Commission (ETFC) not to collect additional tariff from those customers enjoying 24-hour power supply a day or return the money already paid exceeding normal tariff.

The decision comes at a time when general people are suffering through a whopping hours of load-shedding every day.Following a letter dispatched on January 4 by the commission, asking the authority to exempt the total Rs 4 billion to be paid by those consumers enjoying the facility as additional tariff, the authority decided not to charge them extra tariff and return the money already paid exceeding normal tariff.

Meanwhile, delivering their view at the meeting of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) under Legislature-Parliament today, lawmakers hit out at authority’s decision, terming the move wrong amid the situation when general people are facing a whopping hours of power outage every day.

Speaking in the meeting, lawmaker Pashupati Chaulagain demanded tariff rate fixed for those enjoying the facility and action against those involving in such an act that is forcing general people to live in dark in the absence of electricity at this point of time.

Likewise, another lawmaker Rishikesh Pokharel demanded a basis for providing round-the-clock power to some factories like Baba Jute Mill, Nigale Cement, Hulas, Shivam Plastic, Arihanta Polypack and Arihanta Multifibers, but the state-owned Biratnagar Jute Mill has been denied the facility.

Responding to the quarries, ETFC Chairman Jagat Bhusal said that the authority does not have authority to charge extra tariff for providing such facility.

“So the commission should be approached to address the matter in line with the law as only the commission is authorised to decide on it,” he said.

However, board of directors of the authority chairman Suman Prasad Sharma, also secretary at the Energy Ministry, said that the authority was in favour of charging those enjoying the facility extra tariff as earlier.

Meanwhile, the PAC directed the authority to make public details of the customers availing of the facility within three days.

Likewise, it also directed the commission to make necessary arrangements to collect additional tariff from those enjoying the facility.