THT 10 YEARS AGO: Power tariffs may soar following new ordinance
Kathmandu, December 7, 2005
The ever-soaring electricity tariffs could rise up to double its present levels if the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is unbundled through an electricity ordinance that is already on the pipelines, say NEA employees. The government is all set to promulgate another ordinance, most probably by mid December, to disintegrate the NEA under the pretext of cost cutting. Talking to this daily, Kumar Upreti, the chairman of NEA Trade Union, said that the new provision would hit the consumers hard and would severely affect the process of electricity generation. “The NEA has separate sections for survey, production, transmission and distribution. If one section is in deficit, some other section will cover up the cost. This ‘cross subsidy’ is helping the NEA survive,” he said. He warned that once the new ordinance is promulgated, the sections would no longer be able to deal with the losses and a hike in traffics would be the only option left. At present, the NEA distributes electricity at the domestic level at Rs 6.53 per unit. The production cost range from Rs 2.50 to Rs 9 per unit. Additionally, the NEA bears a huge 24 per cent loss due to leakages. Ojha said the NEA, with over 10,000 staffers all over the country, had become a target of some powerful vested interests, which intend to segregate it and privatise the whole electricity sector, cutting off a major income source for the country.
FNCCI plans roadmap for peace
Kathmandu, December 7, 2005
Senior industrialist Diwakar Golchha today disclosed that the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), is preparing a roadmap to establish a long-lasting peace in the country. Speaking at an interaction, organised today by Reporters’ Club, he said that the proposed roadmap would try to bring the palace, political parties and rebels to a common point of agreement. Golchha, however, reiterated constitutional monarchy and multiparty democratic as the bottom-line while doing so. “Peace is essential for everybody and every sector. The Nepali private sector also has a responsibility for restoring peace in the country,” said Golchha, who is also the first vice-president of FNCCI. He stated that the proposed roadmap would be a special one and it will focus on an economic agenda as a pertinent tool for nourishing a sustainable peace. Golchha further stressed that the current unilateral ceasefire should be utilised for building confidence of the private sector. Binod Bahadur Shrestha, immediate past-president of FNCCI noted poverty and unemployment as root causes of the conflict. “These are two vital issues that private sector can address effectively,” he said. Shrestha also underlined the need to give priority to development agendas rather than political issues.