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Dahal, Deuba and Oli under fire for manipulating TRC Bill ‘to conceal industrial default on electricity dues’

KATHMANDU: Prominent leaders from the three major political parties continue to gather at Baluwatar, the official residence of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. On Sunday morning, a meeting took place between Dahal, who also serves as the Maoist Chairman, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba. Ramesh Lekhak was also seen participating in the meeting.

While initial statements suggest discussions on current political issues, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Bill, the reality seems to revolve around a more pressing matter. The primary focus of these discussions involves the unpaid dedicated and feeder line dues owed by certain industrialists to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

A reliable source from Baluwatar, where the tripartite meeting is underway, confirmed that CPN-UML Chair Oli and Congress President Deuba visited the Prime Minister’s residence to discuss the prolonged outstanding dues of industries related to dedicated and trunk lines. The source revealed, “The three leaders are deliberating on the issue of outstanding electricity payments by industrialists.”

Prominent political figures are actively advocating for industrialists, urging them to avoid settling their overdue payments for dedicated lines. Critics argue that these leaders are essentially acting as brokers, mediating between different stakeholders in a manner that raises concerns about impartiality. The lobbying on behalf of industrial interests by political party leaders has drawn criticism for potentially compromising the integrity of the payment process for dedicated lines.

The source further alleged that these leaders are exploiting the TRC Bill as a cover for their actions, stating, “In reality, this meeting has been organized by the big three parties on behalf of industries seeking to evade payment of arrears for dedicated lines. These meetings serve as a smokescreen for industries that have not settled their electricity tariff payments with the Nepal Electricity Authority.”

Their meetings focus lies squarely on the protracted outstanding dues owed by industries related to dedicated and trunk lines. The source emphasized that the three leaders are deeply immersed in addressing the pressing issue of unpaid electricity payments by industrialists.

This revelation sheds light on the pivotal role these political figures play in navigating the intricate landscape of overdue payments within the industrial sector, adding a layer of scrutiny to the proceedings. As this high-stakes discussion unfolds, the implications of political involvement in resolving industrial defaults on electricity dues come into sharper focus, raising questions about the transparency and fairness of the entire process.

Over the past three days, the NEA has been disconnecting power lines for specific industries due to outstanding dues for dedicated lines. Major players such as Jagdamba Steel, Reliance Spinning Mills, Ghorahi Cement, and Arghakhanchi Cement had their electricity supply cut off on Friday.

Historically, these three-party meetings have occurred frequently, often prompted by external influences, such as industrialists, addressing various common issues.

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