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Nepra told to dispose of power tariff cases

September 05, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Sept 4: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday directed Chairman of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to finalise fresh applications for determination of power tariff within 60 days and dispose of all pending cases within 45 days.

The prime minister issued these directive during his visit to the Board of Investment (BoI) where he was given a briefing on Investment Portfolios and Restructuring of BOI as ‘One Window Operation.’

Raja Pervez Ashraf said “we need to simplify and make attractive policies to attract foreign investment in the power sector.” In this connection, he emphasized that the determination of upfront tariff by Nepra can play a critical role in facilitating foreign direct investment in the power sector.

The prime minister said: “The country needs to add to the existing generation capacity and, therefore, we must provide every incentive to a potential investor to reduce the gap between supply and demand.”

Mr Pervez Ashraf said that, in case, Nepra needs additional technical expertise for speedy determination of tariff, it can even hire international experts. The role of regulator, the prime minister said, should be to encourage investment.

Prime Minister Pervez Ashraf said that Nepra needs to do some in-depth analysis and come up with recommendations encompassing legal, structural and administrative areas so that the present difficulties being faced by investors in getting a reasonable tariff could be resolved.

The Prime Minister also directed the Chairman of Nepra to determine upfront tariff for power sector projects in Balochistan on priority basis.

The Prime Minister appreciated Nepra for determining upfront tariff for wind power projects and expressed the confidence that they will endeavour to determine upfront tariff for solar, hydel and coal projects as well.

The prime minister was also briefed by BoI on outcome of negotiations with the US on signing of Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). The prime minister gave his approval to move a summary to the cabinet on the signing of BIT.

Secretary, Board of Investment Anjum Bashir, apprised the prime minister that as a result of BoI’s efforts, foreign investors were now ready to make investment in various sectors, including power sector, petroleum, automobiles, gas and construction.

The board presented a five-point suggestion to the prime minister to allow it to deal with investment matters with greater authority.

It was proposed that the BoI be made an authority to approve, implement and monitor all foreign investment projects through amendments in the rules of business.

The BoI be made ‘One Window Centre’ and be the first contact point for all foreign investors.