Lawmakers discuss Electricity Bill, seek review

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KATHMANDU, Oct 9: The theoretical discussion on the Electricity Bill, 2080 was completed in the House of Representatives (HoR) on Sunday.

In the deliberations, the lawmakers asked the government to ensure corrections after a thorough review of all aspects of the Bill.

The lawmakers said that development of the country’s energy sector was possible only through the collective efforts of public-private partnership.

The lawmakers also urged to create an industry-friendly environment to increase power consumption in the country and said that the Bill should make clear stance on utilization of water that is collected after the development of the reservoir-based mega projects.

Minister for Energy, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, is to respond to the lawmakers’ concerns in the next meeting of the HoR scheduled at 3:30 PM on Monday.

In the deliberations at the HoR meeting on Sunday, lawmakers criticized the Bill arguing that most of the issues are unclear and suggested that the government should revise the Bill.

In the House, Nepali Congress Chief Whip Ramesh Lekhak said that the Bill should pay special attention to the security of the private sector’s investment stating that the process for the development of law in the country’s paramount issue has advanced.

Likewise, CPN-UML’s Gokarna Bista said that provision on the license for the hydel projects should be made further clear and the domestic investment should be promoted by considering the national interests while developing the mega projects.

Similarly, lawmaker Dr Swarnim Wagle said that the Bill should clarify issues such as ownership of shares of public.

Hitaraj Pandey thanked the government for specially emphasizing semi-reservoir and reservoir based hydro power projects. He also extended gratitude to the government for addressing the issues of the people affected from the hydro power projects.

Basanta Newang, Abdul Khan, Ram Prakash Chaudhary, Sishir Khanal, Rajendra Bajagain, Damodar Poudel, Pradeep Poudel, Kiran Kumar Shah, Raju Thapa presented their viewpoints on the theoretical aspect of the bill.

Meanwhile, CPN (Maoist Centre) Deputy General Secretary Barshaman Pun, in the meeting, said that Nepal’s hydroelectricity sector had made a stride in the past five years and it was possible, according to him, due to the exemplary collaboration between the government and the private sector.

Pun dubbed the proposed bill as the ‘policy departure’ in the hydropower sector. According to him, the total connected capacity was around 1,000 MW five years ago. It has reached 3,000MW now. In five years, it will reach 10,000 megawatt of electricity.

He lauded the government for the proposed bill that presented simultaneously presented policies to ensure energy supply, optimization of the natural resources as well as conservation.

(RSS)