KATHMANDU, May 21: The Patan High Court on Sunday ordered five industrial firms to pay electricity tariff of dedicated lines/trunk lines as determined by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
The court vacated its earlier stay order. The firms had denied paying the electricity bills issued by NEA after years of consumption, arguing that they were not liable to pay the bills as they did not use electricity in required capacity and volume per day.
Industrial firms had filed writ at the court saying that the tariff imposed has made huge losses to them.
Everest Paper Mill Pvt Ltd, Arihanta Multi Fibers Ltd, Shuvashree Agni Cement Udhyog Pvt Ltd, Arihanta Poly Max Ltd, and Raghupati Jute Mills Pvt Ltd had filed cases against the NEA.
The court has stated that NEA’s decision to collect tariff from those companies has not made any irreparable loss to them.
The firms have also argued that they have not used continuous supply for minimum 20 hours as required by the standards of dedicated lines and trunk lines of electricity.
After NEA did not listen to their claim, all three professional bodies of the private sector -- The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), and Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) -- have jointly criticized the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) for billing industries for electricity that they did not consume.
They organized a press meet at FNCCI’s office on May 8 and jointly announced their denial to pay bills.
They also argued that having a dedicated connection doesn’t mean that industries have consumed electricity supplied through the line.
Speaking at the press meet, Pashupati Murarka, a former president of FNCCI had argued: “Trunk lines are connected to each enterprise. But most of them neither used the facility, nor completed the prescribed procedure to get such facility from the NEA.”
NEA officials, however, say that these enterprises enjoyed continuous electricity supply before mid-May last year, while the country was facing power shortage, and also thereafter.
NEA’s Managing Director Kulman Ghising said that NEA issued bills to enterprises for energy consumed through dedicated lines during load-shedding. “We charged them for energy supplied through trunk lines as per the law,” he said, adding, “We have also been matching day meters of the enterprises and their electricity bills.”