NEPRA NOTICE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS IN THE MATTER OF AUTHORITY PROPOSED MODIFICATION (APM) IN THE EXISTING DISTRIBUTION LICENSE OF K-ELECTRIC LIMITED (KEL)

Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA) member of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI)  along with allied industrial partners, has expressed concern over short notice of three days given by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to General Public to submit comments in the matter of Authority proposed modifications in the existing distribution license of K-Electric Limited (KEL) published in newspapers on 5th September 2020 is an irresponsible act. Whereas, the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan has given time to NEPRA to make its determination within four weeks while the NEPRA has given only three days notice time which is inappropriate. 

Moreover, the contents of the NEPRA’s notice published in newspapers on 5th September 2020 is very complicated and beyond the understanding of common man. It should have been simply drafted.

The Para 8 of the NEPRA Notice in respect to Order of the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan is reproduced below:

“8.        Now, the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan in its order dated September 01, 2020 in its Suo Moto proceedings on excessing load shedding and electrocution cases in Karachi has directed that the Authority to proceed under Section 26 of the NEPRA Act with respect to exclusive rights given to KEL under its distribution license and make its determination within four (04) weeks.”

Section 26 of the NEPRA act is also reproduced below:

“26. Modifications. — If the Authority is of the opinion that it is in the public interest, it may, with the consent of the licensee, amend or vary the conditions of any licence issued (for registration granted) under this Act and in the absence of licensee’s consent, the Authority shall conduct a public hearing on whether the proposed amendment or variance is in the public interest and shall make a determination consistent with the outcome to this hearing.”

The Para 5 of the Order of the Supreme Court is very clear and reproduced as under:

“The learned Attorney General has contended that the issue of electricity in Karachi is that K-Electric has exclusive right of generation and distribution of electricity in the city of Karachi and therefore, to overcome the issue of exclusivity, the above quoted provision of law has to be given effect and the determination has to be made by the Authority. As the law has provided the provision, we do not see any impediment as to why the Authority is not empowered to give effect to the said provision of law. The Authority may proceed to implement Section 26 of the Act of 1997 and make its determination. While making such determination, the Authority shall not be hampered by any Court, either by issuing of any injunctive order or issuing of any writ. The Authority, after making the determination, which it shall do within one month, will file a report before this Court.”

This aforementioned Para 8 of NEPRA Notice should be printed in accordance with the Order of the Supreme Court on the top/ front of the notice and not in the second last Para partially. The Supreme Court, as reproduced in the said para, is asking with respect to Exclusive Right given to KEL under distribution license. It means that whether people are comfortable with the exclusivity of KEL or want a competitive environment?

“Therefore, PHMA demands NEPRA to redraft the NEPRA’s notice on the lines of the request and give more time to submit comments by the general public. PHMA also oppose the exclusivity and proposes competitive environment”.

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