CCI forms committee to fine-tune draft national electricity policy

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ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests has decided to constitute a committee to deliberate upon the draft National Electricity Policy 2021 and present the final draft before the CCI in its next meeting.

Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the 46th meeting of CCI on Thursday. The meeting discussed in detail the draft National Electricity Policy 2021.

It was decided to constitute a committee to further deliberate upon the proposed policy and present the final draft before the CCI in its next meeting on Monday. The committee comprises the finance minister, minister for energy, law minister, SAPM for Power and chief ministers of the provinces.

As the circular debt continues to plague the energy chain, the government plans to decentralise the power sector in order to incentivise devolved generation and distribution in future under the new National Electricity Policy 2021.

According to the draft policy, all rules/regulations shall be made in a manner which shall ensure decentralisation of the power sector in order to incentivise devolved generation and distribution in future. It further revealed that stranded costs of the power sector have been observed as counterproductive for future investments.

In this regard, viable solutions may be explored separately. However, the Power Division said that the stranded/past costs must not be part of the policy in order to encourage future investments in the power sector.

In the vision of the policy, it further said that the term of liquid market may be not understandable. Therefore, the phrase should be amended to give an impression of a competitive market. It added that the provision relating to deduction of power receivables at source, should be suitably reworded to the extent of the amount only agreed by the provinces, to be adjusted in accordance with the procedure as laid down in the constitution.

In connection with reducing reliance on imported fuels for the generation mix, it focuses on use of local fuels. In this regard, Thar coal from Sindh province may also be indicated. The policy will also focus on resolving load-shedding. In this regard, the provincial government shall have to ensure facilitation in recovery of electricity bills and prevention of theft of electricity.

Section 14 (A) of Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Act 2018, states that “the federal government shall, from time to time, with the approval of the Council of Common Interests, prepare and prescribe a national electricity policy for development of the power markets”.

The NEPRA Act 2018 further provides the contours for the national electricity policy, inter-alia development of systems based on optimal utilisation of resources, development of efficient and liquid power market design, integration of national and provincial transmission systems and development of a sustainable renewable energy market.