PEs alive and kicking, report reveals

KATHMANDU: The total operating income of public utility sector’s Nepal Telecom (NT) and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) increased in fiscal year 2007-08 whereas Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Ltd (KUKL) saw a decrease in its operating income during the period.

According to a report of the Finance Ministry on public enterprises (PEs), net fixed assets of 36 public enterprises — including those under construction — reached Rs 124.89 billion at the end of the fiscal year 2007-08 from Rs 110.61 billion a year earlier. “The overall increase is contributed to an increase

in fixed assets of Rs 8.41

billion, Rs 2.86 billion and Rs 1.37 billion respectively by NEA, Udayapur Cement Industry and NT,” said the report.

The total operating income of the three Public Enterprises during fiscal 2007-08, was Rs 32.21 billion — an increase of 12.35 per cent compared to the preceding year. As a result of setting up a separate KUKL to improve water supply management in Kathmandu Valley, and thus limiting its area of operation outside the valley, the total income of Nepal Drinking Water Corporation in FY 2007-08 decreased to Rs 241.7 million. The operating income of NEA increased by 4 per cent to Rs 15.18 billion. Similarly, total operating income of NT reached Rs 16.79 billion in fiscal year 2007-08. This represents an increase of 24.80 per cent over the preceding year’s Rs 13.45 billion.

According to KUKL spokesperson Rameshwor Shrestha, KUKL was formed on February 13, 2008 and there was a huge amount of unpaid bills before the formation of KUKL which are due till date. “There used to be a system to waive 90 per cent even in penalty for bills not paid on time, but currently there is no such mechanism. We are requesting the Khanepani Management Board to develop such a mechanism so that dues can be recovered,” said Shrestha. The loss is mainly due to the due bills till date that is yet to be recovered, he added.

The net fixed assets of Nepal Drinking Water Corporation have declined to Rs 2.48 billion, said the report, adding that it was because of the establishment of Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Byabasthapan Board, splitting Nepal Drinking Water Corporation into two parts and completing the transfer of fixed property.

In the early 1960s, the government began setting up Public Enterprises (PEs) for manufacturing, providing services and utilities and for overall economic development of the country. Of the established PEs, currently 36 are operating under full or majority ownership of the government. Out of these 36, seven are in the industrial sector, six in the trading sector, seven in the service sector, five in the social sector, three in the public utility sector and eight in the financial sector.