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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has constituted a committee headed by the former prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for a comprehensive review and legislative improvements in Nepra Act as the government is unhappy with “undue activism” of power regulator, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

The decision was taken at a meeting on strategic roadmap - energy sector, held on January 5, 2023 under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister.

The committee also included Minister for Power, Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister for Defence, Khawaja Asif, Minister for Commerce, Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Industries and Production, Syed Murtaza Mahmud, Minister of State for Finance, Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Dr Musadik Masood Malik. They will review “The Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power Act, 1997 (as amended up to 2021)” and suggest legislative improvements. The committee may co-opt a member/expert as per requirement.

The meeting discussed different issues related to energy conservation on the basis of presentation of Power Division. The prime minister has directed the Power Division, AEDB/Nepra RFP/bid initiation for first phase of solarisation of government buildings immediately. The cutoff date for solarisation of all buildings of federal government (under different phases) is April 30, 2023. The AEDB is tasked to ensure that relevant data may be finalised by January 15, 2023.

The Power Division has also been directed that the RFP/ bidding documents for generation of 2000 MWs of solar power on 11 KV feeders be issued immediately. The commissioning of this project shall be ensured by September 10, 2023.

On solar panels, Ministry of Industries and Production shall ensure that the policy on local manufacturing of solar panels is considered/approved by Federal Cabinet by March 31, 2023.

Minister for Finance has been directed to work out a plan for early release of solar panels stuck at ports. Forex cushion would be kept for uninterrupted import of solar equipment for the success of PM’s initiative for solarisation.

Ministry of Industries and Production has been directed to finalise the policy for local manufacturing of E-Bikes latest by March 1, 2023.

The MoI&P shall in consultation with Finance Division and Revenue Division decide the timeline for 100 percent production of E-Bikes and provision of allied services.

The meeting also decided the SSGC and SNGPL shall install 550,000 conical baffles in already installed geysers by October 31, 2023. Ministry of Science and Technology would ensure compliance of installation of conical baffles in all geysers currently being manufactured in Pakistan as per requirement of December 1, 2022. An implementation report would be submitted in the next conservation stocktake.

The meeting has further decided that PSQCA will amend the standard to discontinue manufacturing of incandescent bulbs. The meeting directed the concerned Ministries to communicate manufacture and sale of incandescent bulbs will not be permissible after June 30, 2023 so that the transition takes place smoothly.

The meeting also decided manufacturing of only minimum energy performance standard fans will be allowed from July 1, 2023 as already approved by the Cabinet. Ministry of Science and Technology will propose mechanism in the next meeting to discourage manufacture of energy inefficient fans.

The committee headed by Minister for BoI shall furnish progress report of its meetings with fans & bulbs manufacturers. It shall also recommend interventions for replacement of existing fans in use of lifeline electricity consumers in consultation with Power, S&T Divisions and NEECA during next stocktake.

The SAPM on Government Effectiveness will give a presentation on institutional capacity of NEECA and recommendations for its further strengthening shall be considered in the next stocktake meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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