No chance of corruption in procurement of LED bulbs: Ghising

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Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Kulman Ghising has defended the decision to procure LED bulbs from India and added that the NEA aims to cut consumption during the peak hours by 200 MW.

Speaking to Setopati on Friday, Ghising said there is no chance of corruption in the procurement of 20 million LED bulbs from India and claimed that the NEA has started preparations to sell them to the customers within a month. "The issue was raised in the bilateral meeting of energy secretaries of the two countries two years ago and government bodies of the two countries are involved in the transaction," he stated.

"Energy Efficiency Service Limited of India, a government body like our NEA, will provide the bulbs to us. I don't know where corruption will occur here," he claimed. He added that Energy Efficiency Services Limited is currently distributing LED bulbs across India, and India is selling the bulbs to Nepal at the price it is selling to Indian customers as it saves energy.

Stating that there will be shortage of electricity during the peak hours in the upcoming dry season, he reasoned that process has been started to ensure that LED bulbs are installed across the country before the onset of winter. He argued that NEA is procuring the bulbs itself with help of the cabinet decision as a contract process for procurement process will take five to seven months, bulbs will not be available at the rate India is providing at and the quality will also not be as good.

"A nine-watt LED bulb costs around Rs 350-400 in the Nepali market. We will procure at IRs 65 and customers will get them at Rs 130 each adding all the taxes," he stated. He assured that the bulbs manufactured by Philips and Insteon will come with a three-year warranty.

NEA plans to sell the bulbs from its distribution centers across the country. He informed that NEA is also developing a software to ensure that a single person does not come multiple times to procure the bulbs that will be available at a much lower rate than the market price. "We will sell up to 10 bulbs to a single customer, who has installed electricity meter, and the customer cannot buy the bulbs from another place once the customer's name is entered in the system," he elaborated.

He revealed that the NEA is also mulling about selling the bulbs to the customers by adding the price to the electricity bill, according to Ghising.