November 11: Newly set up industries have been forced to subscribe to the Dedicated and Trunk Line for electricity supply even when there is no power cuts in the country, complained industrialists. They say they have no option than to pay “premium charge” for the service because the normal 11 KVA feeder line of the Nepal Electricity Authority does not have the capacity to supply electricity more than 5 MVA. Service from the Dedicated and Trunk Line costs 59 to 67 percent more than the normal charge.
Anyone requiring more than 5 MVA electricity has to subscribe to the 66 KVA Dedicated and Trunk Line of NEA, says industrialist Rajesh Kyal.
According to Kyal, the state-owned utility service provider charges exorbitant amount for providing uninterrupted power supply at a time when the country has got rid of power cuts problem.
He argued that the government must slash the “premium charge” because currently there is no power cuts in the country.
The NEA has been charging premium rate even to the industries which were set up after the end of power cuts, says industrialist Gopal Kedia, chairman of Birgunj Chamber of Commerce (BCC).
“The government should charge the industries normal rate for electricity keeping in mind that the home-grown industries are facing immense competition in the market.
Vice president of BCC, Anil Agrawal, claimed that the electricity charge alone make up 25 percent of their production cost.
“Our home-based industries are facing hard times. On top of that, the production has been hampered by the exorbitant electricity charge. How can industries operate in such condition?” questioned Agrawal.
Although power cuts officially came to an end on May 15 last year, the industries have been forced to pay the same old charge because the regulation regarding collection of electricity charge is yet to be amended.