Newly-appointed Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Pampha Bhusal, has directed the top officials of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to collect the long pending electricity dues for the use of dedicated feeders. Over Rs 15 billion remains to be collected from various industrialists for the use of dedicated feeders in the past when the country was facing long hours of load shedding.
At a programme organised at NEA office here on Sunday, Minister Bhusal demanded a clear explanation on why the responsible employees of the power utility could not claim the dues of the dedicated feeders and trunk lines and why the electricity tariff collection process could not make any progress.
The government has already decided to entrust NEA to collect electricity tariff of the dedicated feeders and trunk lines despite courting objections from several quarters.
A total of 309 industrialists and entrepreneurs had availed supply of electricity through dedicated feeder and trunk lines during the height of power outage in the country.
The ministry had already assigned NEA to form a research committee to study electricity tariff issues and collect all the dues.
However, the industrialists have been refusing to clear the dues, arguing that they will not pay the dues as they have not used the electricity at all despite the court already paving the way for NEA to collect the tariff.
Minister Bhusal has urged the authority to analyse the data of all the employees stationed in the industrial corridor from 2015 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 2015 till date and to take further course of action accordingly. Pressing for the need to collect the tariff at any cost, she directed all the staffers at NEA to discharge their duties as per the rules and regulations.
Citing that 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 installment basis if they cannot pay it at once. The industrialists from Butwal and Bhairahawa have announced that they will not be able to pay the tariff at all.
The dispute has reached the Commission for the 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.