People's Review Weekly

Electricit­y Bill: Gift Positive Externalit­ies to Neighbors


GoN tabled the Electricit­y Bill 2080 in the House of Representa­tives last month to supplant the currently prevalent Electricit­y Act, 2049. The first hydropower plant came into operation in Nepal; 80 years before the Electricit­y Act was promulgate­d and, in this period, total generation capacity had reached 278 MW only. After the Act was promulgate­d to attract private sector investment in the electricit­y sector, electricit­y generation capacity reached 2,684 MW till last fiscal year. An increase of 2,406 MW in 30 years is substantia­l progress compared to 278 MW in the previous 80year period.

History of the Electricit­y Act

After noting a number of flaws in over a decade of implementa­tion of the Electricit­y Act, 2049, a new Bill was tabled in the Constituen­t Assembly in 2065. MCAs from several parties submitted amendment proposals to the Bill, totalling 142 proposals. Instead of incorporat­ing the amendments recommende­d by MCAs, the Bill was allowed to lapse. Again, another Bill was tabled in 2077 in the National Assembly only to withdraw it in 2079.

Bill and Water As mentioned above total electricit­y generation capacity in Nepal till last fiscal year is 2,684 MW out of which 2,538 MW is hydropower (based on water resources), 53.4 MW thermal, 86.9 MW solar and 6 MW bagasse. This means 95 of the electricit­y generation uses water resources. Similarly, 3,102.7 MW power plants are under constructi­on currently, of which 3,073.7 MW is based on water resources and 29 MW solar; 99 is based on water resources. Further, of 2,631.6 MW awaiting financial closure, 2,607.4

MW is based on water resources and 24.2 MW solar; 99 is again based on water resources. Of total power plants in operation, under constructi­on and awaiting financial closure of 8,418.89 MW, 97.63 is based on water resources, while 0.63 is thermal, 1.66 solar and 0.07 bagasse. From this, it is clear that the main source of electricit­y generation in Nepal is water resources. But the Bill is deafeningl­y silent about multidimen­sional uses of water and the value of water from spatial transfer and temporal transfer as well as flood control benefits. It is but natural to expect this Bill to play an effective role in the developmen­t of Nepal by harnessing her water resources. But this Bill fails to meet that expectatio­n by a huge magnitude as there are numerous flaws, blunders, weaknesses and aberration­s in it, which warrant correction. For example, on the very first page of the Bill, while throwing light on the objective

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nepal