Energy Minister Janardan Sharma on Monday formed a three-member committee to recommend a name for the vacant position of managing director at Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). The committee formed under Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, joint secretary at the Energy Ministry, has been asked to recommend a name for the position within three days. The other members of the committee are Koshal Chandra Subedi, joint secretary of the Energy Ministry, and Hari Prasad Pandit, professor at the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk.

    The committee has been asked to recommend new NEA chief from one of the agencies under the Energy Ministry. “We have already circulated letter to NEA, Water and Energy Commission, Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project Development Committee, Nalsing Gad Hydropower Development Committee and within the ministry, seeking applications from the interested candidates,” said Ghimire, the coordinator of the selection committee.

    “We will evaluate the applicants and score them as per the criteria set by the committee.

    The name of the applicant who gets the highest score will be forwarded to the minister for appointment.”

    According to the terms of reference set by the selection committee, the interested candidate must have a minimum qualification of master’s degree in engineering with at least 15 years of experience in generation or transmission or distribution of electricity. Likewise, experience at the leadership position of a project would be considered added advantage.

    While it appears the minister is trying to hire NEA chief through the selection committee in a transparent manner, in reality he is trying to bring his own man to the post, according to a source at the Energy Ministry.

    “Minister Sharma is trying to appoint Kulman Ghising, former CEO of Chilime Hydropower Project, as NEA chief,” said the source. “The selection criteria has been tweaked in such a way that Ghishing fits in very well.”

    The position of MD has been vacant in NEA since Friday after Mukesh Raj Khafle resigned from the post. Minister Sharma had previously asked him to step down from his position. The minister asked Kafle to quit the post after a panel formed to appraise his performance gave him failing grades. Under the performance agreement Kafle had signed with the Energy Ministry, he had to score at least 50 percent or face any action, including dismissal.

    The NEA chief scored 45 percent in the evaluation. However, he has been saying that that there was conflict of interest during the review process, and that the panel which had reviewed his performance was not independent.

    According to the source, the minister’s effort behind pushing out Kafle citing incompetence was to appoint his own man to the post.

    “Minister Sharma wants to fill key positions in the ministry and the NEA with his yes-men,” added the source.


    Source :  ekantipur