Nepal | July 15, 2020

NEA to provide free electricity to 800,000 houses

To also waive demand charge for drinking water projects

Himalayan News Service
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As per provisions included in the recently announced budget for next fiscal year 2020-21, approximately 800,000 domestic consumers of Nepal Electricity Authority will be able to utilise free electricity service.

While presenting the budget for the next fiscal at the Federal Parliament on Thursday, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada had mentioned that electricity will be provided free of cost to those households (families) consuming less than 10 units of electricity per month.

According to NEA, among its 4.1 million consumers there are 800,000 such customers.

Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barshaman Pun mentioned that an arrangement has been made to provide tariff-free electricity to customers who are financially deprived to provide some relief to them.

NEA had been earlier cutting the power connection of customers who could not even pay the minimum fee. “It’s the very poor people who will receive this facility,” said Pun, adding that this arrangement will be implemented from the very beginning of the upcoming fiscal year.

According to Minister Pun, 25 per cent discount has been given to all types of household customers since April due to the coronavirus pandemic which will be continued till the end of the lockdown.

Moreover, a provision has also been included in the budget to waive the demand charge (minimum fee) of electricity used for drinking water projects.

The minimum tariff will be waived on the electricity used to distribute water by Drinking Water Corporation, Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Ltd (KUKL) and drinking water offices across the country. This facility will also be provided to drinking water consumer committees especially in urban areas and bodies collecting and distributing water through deep boring.

Even if only the minimum fee is waived, the power utility will have to deal with a loss of Rs 170 million according to data of the last fiscal year. Minister Pun mentioned that a policy arrangement has also been made to give discount on demand fee as it will directly benefit the water consumers.

The budget also has made a provision for all types of industrial customers to get a discount on the minimum fee. As per the provision, all types of industrial customers will get full discount on the minimum fee.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 1, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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