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ISLAMABAD: The Power Division (PD) has reportedly asked the Cabinet Division (CD) to implement the amended Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Second Amendment Act) Act, 2021 which is related to the appointment of Members of Nepra.

The government has trimmed the term of Nepra members to three years from four years whereas the age limit for Chairman and Members will not be more than 60 years at the time of appointment.

Nepra officials are under stress due to recent notification regarding the withdrawal of powers of Chairman Nepra by the Authority. Later on, Nepra Authority withdrew the notification, after some external interference. However, officials who allegedly, were found involved in the “conspiracy” were removed from their positions.

Legal Advisor, Nepra Ms Maria Rafique was also removed. She filed a complaint to Wafaqi Mohtasib in addition to approaching Islamabad High court.

Power law: Copy sent to ministries following President’s assent

Chief Justice Islamabad High Court, Ather Minnallah has passed a restraining order against Chairman Nepra not to take any adverse action against Maria Rafique till the next date of hearing on her Writ Petition fixed for January 19-2022.

According to sources, Chairman Nepra was registering an FIR against Ms. Maria Rafique, for not handing over official belongings. Ms Maria Rafique was stopped from entering the Nepra premises by security guards. She had approached Islamabad High Court to pass a restraining order not to take adverse action against her.

Insiders claim that the working atmosphere in Nepra is very tense due to internal fights within the regulator. At least three female officers/employees have already left the organisation due to unfavourable working conditions. However, they cited personal reasons for leaving the organisation. A few days ago, the head of CSR also left Nepra.

According to the new amendments, the government will appoint professional and technically sound Members of Nepra to be recommended by the provinces. Member Tariff and Finance shall be persons holding a degree in the fields of Economic, Corporate Finance or Chartered Accountancy.

The Member Technical, tariff, law, and development will be a professional of known integrity and eminence in the relevant fields with a minimum of 12 years experience and shall be nominated by the provinces or federal government, as the case may be, by rotation.

The new amendments also suggest that the process of appointment of new Chairman or Member under section-2 shall be finalized ninety days prior to the retirement of incumbent Chairman or Member as the case may be.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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