Nepra chief attracts criticism

(Nepra) Tauseef H. Farooqi is being criticised by some energy experts for his “inappropriate” behaviour. During the course of a public hearing on Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP), 2021-30 held on June 15, 2021 some hot words were exchanged between the Chairman Nepra and former MD Managing Director NTDC/ Head of Energy Department LUMS, Dr. Fayyaz Ch. when he was sharing his thoughts on the presentation with the Authority and energy sector experts and representatives of federal and provincial governments.

“Review my presentation critically and advise openly where I am untruthful, unprofessional and biased on the generation expansion plan or on the planning process towards any entity,” Dr. Fayyaz said, adding that as a consumer he is asking tough questions from all stakeholders of power sector and those questions need to be answered.

When contracted for comments Chairman Nepra Tauseef .H. Faqooqi said “I never said who appointed him in LUMS. I said ‘you’ are representing the top institute of Pakistan and your comments should reflect that. Don’t call us all corrupt. Give us solutions to all these problems.”

He further questioned the value addition by the top power planning professional representing the top institute of Pakistan.

“He [Dr. Fayyaz] was almost abusive. I had to uphold the honour of my institution and had to stop him from being abusive,” he concluded.

Dr Fayyaz Ch. further stated that as a consumer and tax payer, he trusted the system planner and regulator to provide unconstrained, affordable and reliable electricity service. In doing so, he expects the planning process to be independent and impartial.

“Whosoever breaks our trust, we have the right to openly ask questions and seek explanation from the concerned entity. I was kicked out and blocked after my presentation,” he added.

Syed Akhtar Ali, former Member Energy Planning Commission, commented that this was a sorry state of affairs adding “why can’t they [Nepra] hear and appreciate an independent point of view.”

“Indeed Nepra Chairman’s conduct was unbecoming of his position. He should talk less and listen more. He has personality issues,” he said.

Shamsuddin Shaikh, former CEO, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company, supported the comments of Syed Akhtar Ali.

Another energy expert Mr. Attiq commented that presentation was excellent and to the point. It was a public hearing so how can a regulator deny the basic right to anyone to present his / her point of view.

He added that he observed “unprofessional” conduct of Chairman Nepra (remarking on the physical appearance of the NTDC case presenter staff). Energy expert Shahid Rahim concurred, adding that “this is unbelievable and most pathetic. How can Nepra deny any intervener from offering his position on the subject of the hearing or cross examining the case presenter?”

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