KATHMANDU, April 4: The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has directed the government to recover the dues from the industries which used electricity supplied through dedicated feeders and trunk lines after Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) failed to take action against them.
Validating the study report of its sub-committee, a PAC meeting held on Sunday asked the government to recover the dues under the headings within the next one month.
In July 2019, the PAC constituted a five member sub-committee headed by Nepali Congress leader Minendra Rijal to study the matter amid a controversy on whether it is legitimate to charge the industries with the premium charges or not. The sub-committee has sorted out Rs 14.08 billion dues of the industries for the use of dedicated feeders and trunk lines.
The state-owned utility supplied electricity to around 300 manufacturing firms under the special facility even when the country was reeling under up to 18 hours of load-shedding. The NEA had imposed 65 percent as premium charge for the users of dedicated and trunk lines.
Earlier, the NEA had sent notices repeatedly to the industrialists concerned to settle their electricity bills. Last year, a cabinet meeting even waived the premium charge for eight and a half months of the total dues in order to minimize excess financial burden on the industrialists. With the decision, the industrialists were supposed to settle the dues of only 28 months and 11 days.
However, the industrialists have been dilly-dallying to abide by the decision, arguing that it was not appropriate for the NEA to levy additional fees even after the power utility announced the end of load-shedding in 2016.