Nepra asked to take action against Discos for not complying with directions, schedule of outages

ISLAMABAD-National Assembly Standing Committee Wednesday asked NEPRA to take action against power distribution companies (DISCOs) for not complying with the directions and schedule of loadshedding.  
The Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat met under the chairpersonship of Ms Kishwer Zehra, also recommended that similar tariff on electricity three phase meters be charged as admissible to lifeline customers who consume units within that range. The Committee was of the view that irrespective of consumption, the tariff charged on three phase meters was high. 
The Committee while discussing issues related to performance and regulatory functions of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), recommended for enhancing power of the Authority in order to capacitate the regulator to more effectively regulate the electric power sector. The Committee was apprised that NEPRA had no role in appointment of management of the electric power generation and distribution entities, thus its scope was limited. The chairman NEPRA apprised that electricity generated by Thar coal and hydroelectric power generation apart from generation through renewable energy would substantially help save foreign exchange.  
The Committee while taking up delay in establishment of Telecommunication Tribunals, directed Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications to expedite the process and report back the outcome to the Committee within thirty days. The Committee was apprised that establishment of the said Tribunals had principally been approved by the federal cabinet, however Ministry of Law advised amendment was required in Telecommunications Reorganisation Act 1996 to give effect to the decision of the Cabinet. The representative of IT ministry informed that the draft of amendment bill had been prepared and would be forwarded to Law Ministry for vetting and further presented to CCLC and the federal cabinet for final approval before sending it to Parliament for approval. 
The Committee expressed its displeasure on absence of representative of Ministry of Law from the meeting. The Committee viewed that the function of Ministry of law was to provide services to the government on legal and constitutional matters and administration of several Laws also fell within the purview of the Ministry therefore it was invited in the meeting of the Committee for advice on Telecommunications Tribunals and Closure of Abandoned Property Organisation. However, the Ministry doesn’t bother to take the parliamentary business serious and no one turned up. The Committee directed to send a letter to convey disapproval to the Secretary Law on that account.
The Committee later reiterating its decision taken in its previous meeting, disposed of Starred Question moved by Ghous Bukhsh Khan Mahar, MNA regarding visits of ministers abroad on public expenses. The Committee had recommended that all the Ministries/Divisions should keep Cabinet Division in loop while moving summaries for visits taken up the Ministers either funded by Finance, Foreign Affairs or any other donor agencies. The Cabinet Division had apprised that the Ministries/Divisions directly submit summaries to the office of Prime Minister for approval and it was only in knowledge of the visits which were approved through Cabinet Division.

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