CNI flays govt for power, fuel crunch

Kathmandu, February 7:

The Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) Wednesday warned the government of an impending agitation if it remained non-committal at ensuring a smooth power supply

and providing security to the business and industrial sector.

CNI president Binod Kumar Chaudhary criticised the government for proving to be inefficient at providing basic services to the public. The government should handover the utility services to the private sector, he said. The current 46-hours a week power cut had hit the industrial sector the hardest, pulling down the total output by 40 per cent.

“Government seems to be unaware about the problems that the people and the industries are facing. If it continues to remain silent like this then the private sector could revolt anytime,” Chaudhary said.

According to CNI, instead of the current 46 hours of segmented load shedding schedule for a week, the government could cut the power supply for two consecutive days so that industries could run with an uninterrupted power supply for five successive days in a week.

CNI has suggested the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to solve the problem of system transmission loss and leakage of electricity which could ensure more power supply.

CNI further said that NEA should desist from levying the ‘demand charge’ for the load shedding hours. It asked the government to provide duty exemption for industries to import captive power plants and fuel required to cope with the load shedding.

CNI stressed that the government should concentrate on utilising available water resources to the fullest to avoid the load-shedding problem permanently. It also advised the government to encourage alternative energy generation tactics, for instance from sugarcane remains , which could generate up to 50 MW. Citing the failure of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to ensure a smooth fuel supply, CNI also demanded it to be handed over to the private sector.

It said the private sector could stop paying taxes to the government authorities if it failed to guarantee adequate security in return. CNI also criticised the failure of public enterprises like Nepal Telecom and Nepal Airlines Corporation to provide quality services to the public.