CCI approves new amendments to allow more control to NEPRA

An appellate tribunal has been introduced to keep check on regulatory decisions

Our Correspondent May 05, 2017
Schedule released for maintenance and routine development work on Wednesday. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: The new amendments passed by the Council of Common Interests (CCI) in the Regulation of Generation of Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power Act, 1997 entrust more power to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), making it a vibrant, independent and more transparent institution as per international standards.

These amendments will provide Nepra with 26 new powers, which it did not have previously, thereby adding to its role as an even more effective regulator.

The new amendments have restricted the role of the federal government to policy level, while all other powers have been given to Nepra.

An official of the power ministry was of the view that the new amendments have put checks upon the federal and provincial governments to recommend members and chairman of the authority who have vast sector related qualifications.

These amendments further strengthen Nepra’s powers of investigation; necessitated by the proposed enhancement of private sector investment in the power sector.

Nepra now also has the right to issue binding directives, guidelines and circulars introduced. Similarly, standalone power of imposing penalty and in case of non-compliance of guidelines has also been introduced.

The amendments further grant Nepra power to make regulation, solely through public consultations.

To minimise the lengthy legal procedure and put an accountability check upon the regulatory decisions, an appellate Tribunal comprising of two technical members and chaired by former High Court Judge, has been introduced via these amendments.

The decisions of the Tribunal are time bound and it has its own fund, which ensures its independence.

New amendments are bound to check the conflict of interest of the chairman and members of Nepra adding to its transparency and independence.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2017.

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