October 19, 2020/Kathmandu-
Congratulations for being elected the president of Independent Power Producers’ Association (IPPAN) !
When was IPPAN established?
-IPPAN was established in 2001 BC.
How many are women in the new committee?
-Well, out of total 17 members 2 are women. We have a Women Empower committee too to encourage more women participation in hydro sector.
What were your main agendas for elections?
-Energy is the main requirement of any Nation be it big or small. The means of energy production could be gas, coal, hydro etc. It’s a huge sector but government doesn’t seem much concerned. In other private sectors the business once set up are later passed on to other generations of the family. But incase of hydro after certain period it is compulsorily passed on to the State. Therefore the government needs to be more generous towards the energy producers in Nepal. Its a sector which supports the local benefits and works in direct involvement of local women and youth clubs. The main problem is though the private companies produce the hydro energy in time, there are state created hurdles at times that leads to wastage of the energy generated. Such problems are faced when the government fails to set up transmission lines in the region in time. And even if done in time sometimes the work is not a quality one.
Also, we have been insisting that the interest rate should be of single digital. Though the interest rate may seem reasonable at times, the banks raise it upto 14 percent under different hidden pretext. Also the time limit for paying the loan should be extended.We have participated in different seminars held in Bangladesh and India in different occasions. And have come to the conclusion that we should be allowed to directly sell our production to other countries.
What are other problems?
-The government keeps on increasing the rate of electricity consumed, but the PPA rate fixed for us remains the same. We think with the changes of rate for consumers it should change for producers too. The government purchases electricity from us at the rate of 5.40 paisa each unit. On turn it takes upto 10 to 14 rupees and sometimes more also as it goes to the tenants level.Along with other mentioned above to hear are the main problems we face here.
What about Covid-19 measures?
-The Energy Ministry has formed a committee led by joint secretary Madhu Bhetwal to look into the problems faced by the energy sector during the Covid-19 pandemics. IPPAN representative is also included in the team and we have been giving suggestions from time to time.
What else the government should do?
-The government should encourage people to use more and more electric energy. The industries and public vehicles should focus on using electric energy. If every household focuses on using induction stoves in the kitchens and hotels the burden on the government to import gas from neighbouring countries will lessen. The government should come up with plans encouraging the consumers to use more electricity rather than gas.It should also give subsidies to the consumers.As said earlier, the government needs to be soft and even the media needs to give importance towards the sector.
So the private sector produces more energy?
-Yes, right now till the date the energy produced is 1400 megawatt the 700 plus megawatt is produced by the private sector. Once the Tamakoshi is ready it will alone produce 456 megawatt electricity and that will increase the government production.
What about the companies which have collapsed?
-The state should look into their welfare and help them rise.
What do you say to the consumers?
-I will advise the domestic consumers to use electricity at home. The factories operating at night time should be given 50 percent subsidies.