India proposes joint mechanism for energy cooperation
Visiting power secretary of India Pradip Kumar Sinha proposed to form a joint-mechanism for effective communication for cooperation in energy between the two countries.
Since India and Bangladesh already has been working on energy cooperation Sinha highlighted the need for similar mechanism with Nepal speaking at a talk programme 'Growth of Indian Power Sector', organised by Indian Embassy in Kathmandu in association with Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI) here today.
Currently, India and Bangladesh have a three-tier mechanism in place — one at the secretary level, one at joint secretary level and another is the joint technical committee.
Though there is a Joint Committee on Water Resources between Nepal and India that helps promote mutual cooperation on water resources, there has been no communication between ministries of two countries looking after energy issues so far, he said.
Energy secretary and secretary at India's Ministry of Water Resources represent their respective governments in Joint Committee on Water Resources.
India is also willing to sign Power Trade Agreement (PTA) with Nepal soon, Sinha said, adding that Nepal can also sign PTA with any state-level power companies of India or central Power Trade Corporation (PTC) as per its requirement.
But Sinha pointed a finger at the Nepali authorities for not playing a proactive role in signing the much-awaited power trade agreement.
“Nepal has been raising the issue of power trade agreement and it is said a draft has also been prepared, he said, "But frankly I haven’t even seen the draft so far."
Sinha’s statement has exposed the attitude of ministry officials' repeated claims that they have prepared the draft of the agreement with India to facilitate unlimited import and export of power between the two countries.
Nepal has long been trying to enter into a power trade agreement with India so that it can purchase any quantity of electricity during lean seasons and sell any quantity of power during the peak seasons.
The agreement will replace the current Power Exchange Agreement between the two neighbouring countries which has capped electricity trading.
Nepal had proposed India to sign MoU for power trade in 2010.
Meanwhile, he also said that energy exchange will be possible only after the completion of the Mujaffarpur Dhalkebar 400 Kv cross border transmission line that is expected to complete in December, 2015. "But there is a need to construct additional cross border transmission line for better energy cooperation," he added.