ISLAMABAD: In a major development, the government changed the structure and structures of the National Electricity Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) with the reduction of the terms of the four members from four to three years under the amendment to the regulation of generation, transmission and distribution of the Electric Power Act, 1997 which came into force on December 4, 2021.
The Authority is made up of a chairman and four specialist members, appointed by the federal government. The president or a member will not be appointed if they have reached the age of 60. And there will no longer be a NEPRA vice president under the notified amended NEPRA law. The four specialist members of the Authority will include member fees and finances, technical members, member development and member entitlement.
At present, there is no law on the members of the Authority in the last 9-10 months. The niche must have one from Punjab, as no one has been named a member from that province so far.
According to the notified rider, the appointment process will be finalized within 90 days in the event of a vacancy created due to the death, resignation or dismissal of the chair or member. The federal government will appoint a member to work as interim president until a new president is appointed. The members designate among themselves a member to exercise the functions of interim president in the absence of the president, as the case may be, for a meeting of the Authority.
Internal sources indicate that the federal government wishes to replace the current members with professionals with professional training and 12 years of experience in the relevant fields.
Members will rotate between provinces after three-year terms. The Tariff and Finance member shall be someone with a degree in economics, corporate finance or chartered accountancy and be a professional of recognized integrity and eminence with a minimum of 12 years of related experience and will be appointed by the provinces or the federal government. Membership fees and finances currently come from Balochistan. And this window at the expiration of three years will be alternated and will arrive in Punjab, followed by KPK and Sindh respectively every three years.
Likewise, the technical member must have an engineering degree in electricity, energy or energy and is a professional of recognized integrity with a minimum of 12 years of experience in electrical and energy service companies. Member Sindh is currently working as a technical member. The development member must have a degree in economics, accounting or engineering in electricity, energy or electricity and a minimum of 12 years of related experience in public policy, renewable energy or electrical energy services business. . Currently the KPK member acts as a development member. The member lawyer must be qualified in company and economic law and is a professional of recognized integrity with a minimum of 12 years of related experience in company and economic law. NEPRA currently has no ex officio member who should be from Punjab.
One of the best men in NEPRA, when contacted, said that with the application of the Authority, he will function more efficiently and professionally. When asked if the federal government had acquired the power to appoint NEPRA members, he replied that electricity is a federal subject and the central government has taken over power. He also said that in fact the federal government will share powers with the provincial governments when appointing members.
Other officials said the old NEPRA law with provincial representation came about after 8-9 years of brainstorming with contributions from international experts. It has now been radically changed with more powers for the federal government in appointing members. They said the engine and shaker of the NEPRA law amendment is Senator Shibli Faraz, who is currently Minister of Science and Technology.