Ghising named NEA chiefThe Cabinet on Wednesday appointed Kulman Ghising to the post of the managing director at Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), which had remained vacant since Friday after Mukesh Raj Kafle stepped down.
The Cabinet on Wednesday appointed Kulman Ghising to the post of the managing director at Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), which had remained vacant since Friday after Mukesh Raj Kafle stepped down.
Ghising had previously served as the project chief of 40MW Rahughat Hydropower Project, a subsidiary of NEA, the state-owned power utility.
Ghising is considered close to the ruling CPN Maoist (Centre), and multiple sources at the Ministry of Energy said Energy Minister Janardan Sharma used his influence to place him at the helm of NEA.
Earlier, the ministry had formed a committee to select NEA’s MD under the coordination of Joint Secretary Dinesh Kumar Ghimire. But a source said the committee was formed just for the sake of it.
“Although it seemed like the minister was trying to hire NEA chief through a selection committee in a transparent manner, in reality he was trying to bring his own man to the post and he succeeded,” the source said. “The selection criteria was tweaked in such a way that Ghishing fitted in very well.”
The selection committee—which also comprised Koshal Chandra Subedi, joint secretary of the Energy Ministry, and Hari Prasad Pandit, Professor at Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk—had earlier asked eligible candidates to file candidacy by 5:00 pm Wednesday.
The committee forwarded names of three candidates to the Cabinet immediately after Wednesday’s deadline expired. The other two candidates were Madhu Prasad Bhetwal and Nabin Raj Sing—both deputy director generals of the Department of Electricity Development.
According to the terms of reference set by the selection committee, interested candidates required minimum of master’s degree in engineering with at least 15 years of experience in generation, transmission or distribution of electricity. Likewise, the experience at leadership position of the project was considered added advantage and this criterion worked in the favour of Ghising.
Ghising is credited for expanding Chilime Hydropower Company Limited, the country’s first indigenously-designed, locally-built and domestically-financed power plant, into the country’s leading power developing company during his tenure in the company as managing director. “His tenure in Chilime as its chief was instrumental in his appointment,” said the source.
Meanwhile, senior NEA staff are disappointed with the appointment of Ghising as NEA chief.
“The government decided to appoint Ghising, who is junior than nine other officials at NEA,” an official said. “His appointment as NEA chief has demoralised senior officials at the authority.”