The Nepal Electricity Authority, it seems, is always at the centre of some corruption scandal or other. The latest concerns the buying of 50,000 electric metres. According to our reporter, the NEA had called for a tender for the supply of the metres some time ago. Thirteen companies responded and filed tenders.
According to sources, a Chinese company, Hyukhai, quoted the least bid amount. It has now been learnt that pressure was applied from the 'top' at the NEA and the technical evaluation team of the NEA disqualified Hyukhai's tender. The technical committee also disqualified nine other companies that had filed tenders, leaving only four companies in the fray for the next round of the selection process.
There are two evaluating committees in the NEA-one for technical evaluation and the other for financial evaluation. If the NEA does not want to be summoned by the Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), it should award the contract to Hyukhai, which quoted the least amount. But it seems that the NEA does not care for the CIAA or the PAC. Hyukhai had quoted $8.68 per metre, but the Shanghai Electrical Company, another Chinese company, which quoted the highest bid at $14.4 per metre, was chosen instead. Even on the issue of buying a small item like an electric metre there is corruption in the NEA to the tune of Rs 20 million.