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Process of appointment for NEPRA chief scrapped

ISLAMABAD: Process for appointment of chairman National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has been scrapped at the eleventh hour after a suitable candidate could not be found.

The post has been lying vacant since November last year following Tariq Saddozai’s retirement.

The government had advertised for the post one month after it got vacant. A selection committee, formed by Prime Minister Imran Khan and his adviser Dr Ishrat Hussain, interviewed candidates on February 6 but scrapped the process within few days.

The power regulatory entity is currently working sans a head, at a time when it has to deal with tens of upcoming distribution and generation licenses, increase in tariff to meet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) targets and sale of K-Electric to Shanghai Electric.

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Sources said there were disagreements over appointment among the selection committee led by Ishrat Hussain. The PM’s adviser said the committee unanimously decided to halt the process as candidates did not meet the criteria. He said the post would be advertised again.

In November 2018, an IMF mission, which was in Pakistan to finalise a bailout package deal, visited the headquarters of the NEPRA.

According to details, the IMF delegation led by Herald Finger met the then NEPRA Chairman Tariq Saddozai. The members of the international lender were briefed on the performance of the country’s power sector.

The IMF delegation had arrived in Pakistan on November 6 to hold talks in two phases with Pakistani officials.

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