NEPRA to establish help desk, hold public hearings at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Lahore, September 02, 2016 (PPI-OT): National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has decided to establish its help desk here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry which would be operational soon.

This was decided at a meeting between the Director of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority
Engineer Imtiaz Hussain Baloch and LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday. LCCI Executive Committee Members Amjad Ali Jawa and Tariq Mahmood were also present on the occasion.

It was also decided that NEPRA will hold its public hearings at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry that would help resolve the issues in shortest time.

Director NEPRA Imtiaz Hussain Baloch said that these initiatives will not only resolve the issues of business community but will also help build trust between the two stakeholders. He said that NEPRA rules and regulations are being reviewed to make them more and more business friendly. He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry would be taken on board on trade and industry related issues. He said that issues of new connections will be resolved soon. He said that suggestion to separate domestic and industrial feeders is under consideration while work on upgradation of transmission system is well on the way. He said that NEPRA will welcome the suggestions of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed said that getting Electricity is one of major issues and surprisingly Pakistan ranks 157th on this indicator. It takes around 178 days in Pakistan to get a 140 KVA, 3 phase electricity connection as compared to 18 days in South Korea which holds the top position in this area.

He said that a lot of delay is witnessed in getting site inspection, internal wiring test report and external works. These delays can be avoided if there is an Electronic Portal which should not only provide the facility of application submission (for new connections) but also the submission of all relevant documents online. Moreover, he said, this E-Portal should be integrated with SECP, LRMIS and NADRA database for the verification of company’s information. Allowing the acceptance of the internal wiring test report of private certified and registered contractors would also greatly expedite the process of getting the electricity connection.

The LCCI Vice President said that demand notice for electricity connection is an unusual practice in Pakistan which is not the case in other countries. It should be ceased. He said that the quality of electricity has to be improved and NEPRA should ensure that there is no unnecessary breakdown because it causes losses to industry.

He said that NEPRA must realize that the industrial sector is affected most adversely by the sudden tariff increase as the orders are booked 3-6 months in advance at certain prices which cannot be changed. An untimely tariff hike increases the cost of production significantly, making many industries uncompetitive. He said that the higher tariff of industrial sector as compared to the domestic sector means that Industrial sector is cross subsidizing the higher cost of service of domestic/other sectors.
Nasir Saeed said that tariff may be fixed at least 6 months before so that the rates are stable to calculate production costs for procuring and delivering supplies and orders. Many stakeholders from the industrial sector complain that tariff increase is often done without any long term intimation/planning.

He urged NEPRA to ensure proper monitoring of DISCOs and make sure that directions regarding the monitoring of DISCOs should be properly complied with. Better quality of service by DISCOs would reduce distribution losses, increase recovery percentage, leading to reduction in the cost of supplying electricity to the consumers in the long run.

He said that there should be an integrated energy policy which should incorporate private-to-private sale of electricity. The policy should relax the legal and regulatory requirements for the companies willing to engage in private-to-private sale of electricity i.e. Generation license and Tariff Determination.
“It is high time for creating competition and attracting private sector investments from around the world in the power sector of Pakistan. For that matter, NEPRA should be strengthened into a world class regulatory authority with sophisticated and efficient capacity to establish tariffs and set the foundation for a competitive bidding process”, the LCCI Vice President concluded.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854