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The News

Published Date: Apr 11, 2014

Nepra’s ability to regulate power sector questioned

Members of the energy unit of SDPI have noticed that the quality of the hearing on revision of upfront tariff on coal-based electricity held by Nepra on Wednesday was not up to the mark and they have also found the Nepra chairman as incompetent as he miserably failed to respond to the technical questions about the upfront tariff on coal-based electricity raised by the participants during the hearing.

This has been reveled in a letter from one of the energy experts of SDPI, M Sarwar, addressed to the Cabinet Division secretary.

Sarwar accused the acting chairman of the electric power regulator incompetent and unable to protect the consumers ‘ rights.

In
the letter, he questioned the ability of Nepra to regulate the power sector, arguing he does not know the technical issues involved in the tariff determination and this has been come into light during the question-answer session in the hearing of the petition of the government, seeking an increase in the upfront tariff of the coal-based electricity with more reduction in efficiency of the power plants.

According
to the letter, also sent to the prime minister and chief justice of Pakistan, the SDPI energy unit member also highlighted the conflict of interests, revealing that the hearing has been held on the request for reopening of the upfront tariff for coal-based power plants has been made by the Ministry of Water and Power headed by Khwaja Mohammad Asif.

His
close relative Khwaja Mohammad Naeem, who is acting chairman of Nepra, was nominated by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for the post.

And
on top of that Naeem ‘s daughter Shaza Fatima belongs to PML-N and is member of the National Assembly on reserved seat for women.

The
letter reads that Nepra is the apex body responsible for the regulation
of electric power needs should be a beacon of excellence.

However, the hearing on coal power generation on April 9 was a tragic example of failure of the public institutions.