Kathmandu: Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal has directed the top leadership of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to collect long-pending electricity tariffs for the use of dedicated feeders. Over Rs 15 billion remains to be collected from the industrialists for the use of dedicated feeders in the past when the country was facing long hours of load shedding.
At a programme organized at the NEA office here on Sunday, Minister Bhusal demanded a clear explanation on why the responsible employees of the NEA could not claim the dues of the dedicated feeders and trunk line and why the electricity tariff collection process could not make any progress.
The government has already decided to entrust Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to collect electricity tariffs of the dedicated feeders and trunk line despite courting objections from several quarters.
A total of 309 industrialists and entrepreneurs had availed supply of electricity through dedicated feeder and trunk line during the height of power outage in the country during 2071 BS to 2075 BS.
The Ministry had already assigned the NEA to form a research committee to study electricity tariff issues and to collect all the dues.
However, the industrialists have been refusing to clear the dues, arguing why they should pay for the tariff when they have not used the electricity at all despite the high court in the country already paved the path for the NEA to collect the tariff.
Minister Bhusal said, “Why we could not collect electricity tariff? Who is responsible for this?”
Bhusal urged the NEA to analyse the data of all the employees stationed in the industrial corridor from 2072 BS and find out why the electricity tariff could not be collected yet.
She also ordered work details of the employees in the industrial corridor working from 2072 BS to date and to take further course of action accordingly.
The Minister further questioned, “How many times did we facilitate to collect the electricity tariff? How many times did we hold discussions with the concerned industrialists?”
Pressing for the need to collect the tariff at any cost, she directed all the staffers at the NEA to discharge their duties as per the rules and regulations.
Arguing that the industrialists were supporters of the state, Bhusal urged the NEA to take industrialists into confidence to collect the tariff.
The NEA has already requested the industrialists to clear their dues on an instalment basis if not at a go. The industrialists from Butwal and Bhairahawa have announced that they will not be able to pay the tariff at all.
The dispute had reached the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, Electricity Regulations Commission and Council of Ministers too. No agencies have made a clear decision regarding the matter. These agencies have passed on the matter to the NEA for the needful.