Government Moves to Shield NEPRA and OGRA from Political Influence


In Islamabad, the caretaker Federal Government has announced plans to amend the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) Acts with the aim of insulating both regulatory bodies from governmental interference in future tariff notifications. Sources close to the caretaker Minister for Power and Petroleum revealed this significant decision, which was made at the latest meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) and subsequently ratified by the caretaker Federal Cabinet.

The decision stems from a concerted effort to bolster the autonomy of NEPRA and OGRA, shielding them from political influence and ensuring impartiality in tariff determinations for electricity and gas. This move is part of broader market reforms in the energy sector, including transitioning from the Single Buyer Model to the Competitive Trading Bilateral Contract Market (CTBCM).

The CCoE, emphasizing the urgency of implementing electricity market reforms, directed the Power Division to submit monthly progress reports on CTBCM implementation. During discussions, it was highlighted that expediting the CTBCM was imperative, with deadlines set for relevant tasks to be completed by March and June 2024.

In line with this initiative, necessary amendments to the NEPRA and OGRA Acts will be drafted to empower the regulators in tariff notifications and establish appellate tribunals, where needed, to address complaints independently. The government is poised to issue a policy statement reflecting these objectives, with the Power and Petroleum Division tasked with preparing the requisite amendments for submission to the CCoE.

This strategic move underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing regulatory independence and fostering a transparent and efficient energy market, aligning with broader efforts to reform Pakistan’s energy sector for sustainable growth and development.

Story by Mushtaq Ghumman

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