Transfer of power: Provinces demand end to NEPRA’s role in pricing

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ISLAMABAD: Provinces have called for ending the role of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) in determining power tariff and have demanded transfer of income of power distribution companies (Discos) to them after implementation of the 18th amendment.

However, the taxes on income of Discos may go to the federal government. Federal government had asked provinces to provide comments by June 15, which will be submitted before the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for approval.

Sources told that in the fourth inter-provincial meeting held on Tuesday, aimed at examining the working and functioning of Nepra within the constitution, provinces said they were allowed to set up power generation plants of maximum generation capacity, and they ought to be empowered to determine and notify the power tariff.

Earlier, provinces were allowed to set up power plants of 50 MW (megawatts) generation capacity only.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) had already filed a case against Nepra. K-P representatives in the meeting said that Nepra should not be allowed to intervene in determining power tariff after 18th Amendment.

The Sindh representative said the amendment should be made to empower provinces to determine power tariff and demanded that Nepra’s role should be abolished, after granting of autonomy to provinces under the 18th Amendment.

The Punjab representative said that provinces should take help from Nepra in determining power tariff if they wanted to. Nepra authorities said that provinces had no expertise to determine the power tariff and therefore the subject of determining power tariff should be held by Nepra.

Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar said that all regulatory authorities and the subject of electricity had been clearly defined in the constitution, and CCI was a forum to seek any interpretation of the matter.

The provinces had been allowed to generate electricity, while the role of regulator for determining tariff had also been defined.

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