NEA in no mood to execute suggestions

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    KATHMANDU, DEC 10 –

    The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) board is least interested in implementing recommendations put forward by the report of the Organisation and Management (O&M) survey.

    The report was tabled on the NEA board some four months ago, but no discussion has taken place so far, according to NEA officials. They said the report was dumped as it talks about downsizing and merging different departments under NEA. The O&M survey was conducted

    as per the decision of the NEA board itself.

    NEA has long been criticised for its gigantic, yet unproductive staff size. Even after the write-off of its losses worth Rs 28 billion last year, the state-owned enterprise incurred a loss of Rs 8.55 billion during 2011-12.

    “The NEA board is least interested in discussing the report,” said Tek Nath Acharya, an NEA board member who headed the three-member survey team.

    NEA currently has 10 departments headed by general managers, and the report has recommended that the number of such units be reduced to eight. “Existence of separate units to carry out similar tasks will only delay work and create confusion,” says the report. “Bringing down the number of business groups to eight will reduce NEA’s annual loss by as much as Rs 5 million.”

    An NEA board member said the NEA management committee is pressing the board not to approve the report fearing of losing their roles in the organisation. “Managers even fear to discuss the report as they have taken it as a personal matter,” he said. More than half a million rupees was spent for the survey.

    The board member demanded that either a discussion on the report be held or it be terminated terming it useless.

    Former acting managing director of NEA, Mahendra Lal Shrestha, however, said discussions on the report were underway to initiate institutional reform at NEA. “With the appointment of a new MD, discussions on the matter will speed up,” he said.

    A member of the management committee said it has decided to implement the report recommendations from the beginning of the next fiscal year. “Implementation of the report and initiation institutional reforms is associated with budget,” he said. “As it will be difficult to manage funds in the mid of the fiscal year, the reform process will be initiated with the beginning of the next fiscal year.”

    NEA’s indifference to adopting reforms measures is reflected in the fact that despite promise, it has not submitted any of its progress reports to the Electricity Tariff Fixation Commission (ETFC) so far. ETFC had approved a 20 percent hike in power

    tariff on an average some four months ago on condition that the NEA will initiate reforms and submit the progress report on quarterly basis.

    “Despite the commitment, NEA has not submitted any documents regarding controlling leakage and other reforms,” said Ganesh Prashad Subba, chairman of the commission.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post