PM Dahal evades responsibility as NEA’s Kul Man Ghising bears brunt of power disconnection dispute

KATHMANDU: In the ongoing dispute over dedicated feeder and trunk line dues, Nepal Electricity Authority’s Managing Director, Kul Man Ghising, defended his decision to disconnect power lines, stating that he cannot shoulder the entire responsibility alone. Ghising emphasized that he operates within his capacity and does not make unilateral decisions.

Since last Friday, the Nepal Electricity Authority has been cutting power lines to industries whose outstanding dues remain unpaid for electricity sourced from dedicated feeder and trunk lines. The authority disconnected power to four industries initially and expanded it to five more on Sunday.

Within 48 hours of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s directive to cut power to industries with unpaid dues, the authority swiftly cut lines to nine industries. In a press conference on Thursday, Ghising announced that he would not tolerate further delays in resolving the dispute, and the electricity supply to the 61 industries with outstanding bills would gradually be terminated.

The Authority revealed that more than 22 billion rupees are yet to be collected from 61 consumers utilizing dedicated feeder and trunk lines until November 2023.

Ghising asserted that the decision to disconnect power was a last resort after repeated requests for payment were ignored. He accused industrialists of spreading false propaganda and insisted that committees formed in the past had recommended collecting fees based on evidence.

Despite criticism and objections from economic experts regarding the potential negative impact on industries and the overall economy, Ghising maintained his stance.

He highlighted that the courts and government bodies had already determined that the remaining amount should be collected. Ghising indicated that a decision from higher authorities, either the government or the court, is awaited.

Amid rumors of the state mishandling the crisis in the industrial sector, Prime Minister Dahal has been avoiding meetings with industrialists. The Prime Minister appears unwilling to engage in discussions with industrialists or other government entities involved in the dispute, preferring to distance himself from the controversy and pass the responsibility onto the executive director, Ghising.

During a press conference, Ghising urged industrialists to seek a solution not solely from him but to involve the Council of Ministers or other relevant bodies in the decision-making process. He warned that if there is no resolution forthcoming, the authority will proceed to collect the entire outstanding amount billed.

Fiscal Nepal |
Friday December 29, 2023, 10:44:45 AM |

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