ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has approved the transfer of the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA) from the Science and Technology Division to the Power Division on Wednesday.
According to sources, the cabinet has granted its necessary approval regarding the transfer of NEECA through the circulation of summary.
NEECA was established under National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Act 2016 after dissolution of ENERCON. The main objective of establishment of NEECA had been to stipulate mechanisms and procedures for effective use of energy in Pakistan. NEECA was working under the administrative control of Power Division.
The Cabinet Committee on Institutional Reforms (CCIA) vide its decision in case No. CCIR-30-07-2022 dated 09-03-2022, while approving the summary of Science and Technology Division dated 01-03-2022, transferred NEECA from Power Division to Science & Technology Division. The Cabinet vide its decision in Case No.167/Rule-19/2022 dated 02-04-2022 ratified the said decision of CCIR for transfer of NEECA to Science and Technology Division. The Cabinet vide its decision its O.M. No 4-1/2022-Min-I dated 16-04-2022 has implemented the decision of the Cabinet, however, necessary amendment in the Rules of Business has not been conveyed as yet.
It may be mentioned that this decision had earlier agreed to the proposal of Science & Technology Division for transfer of NEECA to that Division, prior to submission of summary to CCIR by the Science and Technology Division.
The matter of transfer of NEECA to Science and Technology Division has been reexamined in this division owing to certain fresh development. The grounds for re-considerations are as follows:
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) is the part of National Electric Policy, 2021 being mandate of power division. Thus, the mandate of NEECA, on EE&C is aligned with the subject of Ministry of Energy (Power and Petroleum Divisions).
- The main purpose of transfer of NEECA indicated by the Science and Technology Division was that different technical initiatives of NEECA as specified in the NEECA Act, 2016 such as Minimum Energy Performance Standards, Testing and Building Codes including the energy provisions are dependent on the Science and Technology Division and institutions under that division particularly Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA). However, as observed from the NEECA Act, 2016, NEECA has vast mandate pertaining to EE&C focused on policy formulation and implementation, energy audits, data collection, surveys, inspections, awareness, surveillance, and monitoring etc. in different sectors of economy, which are distinct and not dependent on Science & Technology Division or institutions under it, except the matters pertaining to formulation of standards requiring collaboration with National Standards Body (PSQCA).
Globally, Energy Efficiency & Conservation organizations under government control are aligned with ministries of energy in both developing and developed countries alike as in the case of India, China, Germany, UAE, and Iran, etc.
Recently, the World Bank while reviewing the energy sector has also proposed placing NEECA under the ministry of energy. The brief/note of key reforms prepared by the World Bank for implementation in the energy sector reads as under:
“that the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee of Institutional Reforms to transfer NEECA from Ministry of Energy to Ministry of Science & Technology needs to be reviewed, as this could lead to uncertainties in the implementation of the policy”.
According to the power division, the challenges of “Energy” both Petroleum and Electricity is the biggest for Pakistan and it shall remain like this in the foreseeable future. NEECA’s mandate and its technical input is, therefore, mostly required in the Energy Ministry. Therefore, this division proposed before the federal cabinet that the administrative control of NEECA may be transferred back the Ministry of Energy, Power Division.
Accordingly, after taking approval of the Prime Minister, the power minister has seen and authorize the submission of the summary to the Cabinet.