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NEA increases load shedding by 14 hours a day

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The Nepal Electricity Authority on Sunday announced increase in the load shedding hours to 86 hours a week from the existing 77 hours a week effective from Monday.

With this change, people will be without electricity for up to 14 hours a day. The reducing water level in rivers feeding major hydropower plants has compelled the authority to make such a move, according to Ram Chandra Pandey, deputy managing director at the NEA.

While the state-owned utility currently supplies around 500MW power, including 200MW it imports from India, the peak demand stands at 1,300MW.

“A surge in the electricity demand in the wake of an acute fuel shortage has also prompted the NEA to increase power cuts,” Pandey said.

Though the government had pledged power supply during “cooking time”, the new schedule leaves people without electricity to cook their meals for at least three days a week.

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Economy

NRB to unveil monetary policy today

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Nepal Rastra Bank is unveiling the Monetary Policy 2018-19 on Wednesday, introducing a provision whereby domestic commercial banks will be able to hedge against convertible foreign currency by borrowing from foreign banks.

The central regulatory and monetary authority has opened a borrowing facility from foreign banks to meet the credit requirement in the production and infrastructure sectors, according to central bank sources.

The Monetary Policy is expected to bring down the cash reserve ratio from six per cent of the current fiscal to five per cent, eyeing the liquidity scenario.

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The monetary policy for the next fiscal will also narrow down the weighted interest spread rate from five per cent. In the context of commercial banks not being able to meet the priority sector lending mainly in the agriculture sector, the monetary policy is likely to extend a year’s period for banks to meet the priority sector or productive sector lending provision.

The Financial Sector Development Strategy of the government has also envisioned narrowing down the weighted interest rate spread.

According to the sources, the monetary policy would ease the provision of margin lending due to the depression witnessed in the stock market.

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