NEA to Recover NPR 21.88 Billion in Arrears from Dedicated and Trunk Line Customers

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Kathmandu — The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) needs to recover NPR 21.88 billion in arrears from 62 dedicated and trunk line customers, according to the General Account. The 61st report of the Auditor General indicates that revenue arrears have increased by 10.48 percent, reaching NPR 44.33 billion.

The report mentions that 49.36 percent of the total arrears are attributed to trunk and dedicated lines. It emphasizes the necessity for coordination to facilitate the collection of arrears and specifically mentions the need for coordination in collecting trunk and dedicated arrears.

According to the General Account, it has been noted that NPR 6.02 billion should be collected for street light arrears. Among these arrears, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City has the highest arrears amounting to NPR 1.79 billion.

Although the General Account has mentioned the need to collect NPR 21.88 billion in arrears from 62 customers using dedicated and trunk lines, a commission formed during the cabinet meeting on Jan 9th  to study disputes regarding dedicated and trunk line arrears has recommended resolving disputes dating from Jan 2016 to Apr 2018.

From Aug 2015 to Dec 2015, tariffs were not enforced, and after the end of load shedding from May 2018, the authority itself declared the end of load shedding. The commission has indicated that arrears for this period should not be collected. In the cabinet meeting on May 27 of the previous year, the commission’s report was accepted, and it was instructed to the Ministry of Energy to implement it.

On Jan 6th 2020, the dispute resolution committee, coordinated by the then Energy Secretary Dinesh Ghimire, formed a sub-committee on Jan 13, 2020, under the coordination of the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Energy. This sub-committee presented a report detailing arrears for three periods. According to the sub-committee’s report, the arrears are NPR 970 million from Aug 2015 to Jan 2016, NPR 6 billion from Feb 2016 to May 2018, and NPR 8.03 billion from June 2018 to June 2020.

If the commission’s report is implemented, the authority will only be able to collect NPR 6 billion. “Only the arrears for the period from Feb 2016 to May 2018, when tariffs were set, can be collected,” said a high-ranking source in the ministry. “The authority will now only be able to collect NPR 6 billion, plus any applicable interest.”

Source: Kantipur