The government has not been able to make policy about PPA with a sub-committee under the PAC not preparing report. The government is ready to sign PPA in dollar with promoters of hydropower projects to be developed with foreign investment and is waiting for instruction of the PAC. The PAC had formed a sub-committee under UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Top Bahadur Rayamajhi to prepare report on dollar PPA in June following controversy about dollar PPA signed with around half a dozen projects earlier. But the sub-committee has yet to prepare the report. It is still uncertain as differences among the major political parties regarding contentious issues of the constitution have increased. Almost two dozen projects set to be developed with foreign investment have yet to move forward due to delay in policy formulation.
Coordinator of the sub-committee Rayamajhi says it will take another one month to prepare the dollar PPA report due to escalation of differences among the parties. “We will prepare the report and submit it after consensus on contentious issues. We have already completed discussions and interactions with stakeholders about dollar PPA. We have to only write the report,” he reveals.
The PAC meeting has not been convened after UCPN (Maoist) boycotted the Constituent Assembly (CA). The sub-committee is also not working. UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Janardan Sharma is chairman of the PAC. The working procedure on dollar PPA will be formulated after comprehensive discussion at the PAC after submission of the report by the sub-committee.
The Energy Ministry has also formed a committee under Joint Secretary Keshav Dhwaj Adhikari. “We have been holding discussions about dollar PPA. Formulation of the policy has been delayed in lack of the parliamentary report. The government is positive about the issue but is not for bypassing the parliament. The ministry had also prepared to formulate dollar PPA policy but we are now waiting for parliamentary report after the people’s representatives showed interest for that,” Energy Secretary Rajendra Kishore Chhetri says. The policy will take decision about the range of installed capacity of projects to sign PPA in dollar, the rate, validity period and other issues.
Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Governor Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada has already advised to not sign PPA in dollar citing limited foreign currency reserves. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has not signed PPA in dollar after controversy about that signed with Khimti and Bhotekoshi projects. The NEA has signed dollar PPA with promoters of Khimti (60 MW), Bhotekoshi (36 MW), Upper Marsyangdi-1 (50 MW) and Lower Solu (82 MW). The NEA clams that it has been suffering loss due to the dollar PPA signed for Khimti and Bhotekoshi projects. The NEA is not for signing PPA until the government formulates policy. Managing Director (MD) Mukesh Raj Kafle says the NEA will think about PPA until after the ministry takes decision.
The NEA has already prepared a policy to sign PPA for projects of up to 100 MW at the same rate paving the way for signing PPA for projects of up to 100 MW. PPA for projects of up to 100 MW will be signed in Nepali currency. PPA for the bigger projects will be signed through mutual agreement of the NEA and promoters concerned.
Source : Karobar Daily