GIS – 16 August, 2019: The first Strategic Business Plan 2019-2022 of the Utility Regulatory Authority (URA) was officially launched yesterday at the Hennessy Park Hotel. The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Collendavelloo and other personalities were present.
This three-year plan has been crafted with the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF), which funded a utility regulatory expert to help URA define its vision, mission and strategic objectives. The aim is to ensure that the URA’s strategic objectives are aligned with the aspirations of Mauritius in order to have a dynamic and financially sustainable utility sector that will provide value for money as well as premium service to consumers and support the country’s broader economic agenda.
In his keynote address, the Deputy Prime Minister recalled that the URA was established so as to ensure the sustainability and viability of the utility services, protect the interests of customers, and promote efficiency and competition so as to prevent unfair and anticompetitive practices in the utility services industry.
Mr Collendavelloo pointed out that with the development of renewable energy, the number of power producers have increased to 14 for bagasse, solar, wind and landfill gas, hence, making it a challenge for the URA to create a level playing field between private power producers and the Central Electricity Board. It will be essential for the URA to protect the interests of consumers as far as tariffs and qualities of service are concerned, he added.
For her part, the Chief Executive Officer of the URA, Mrs Eunice Harris Potani, lauded Government’s commitment in implementing the reforms in the utility sector which led to the creation of the URA and to the elaboration of the first strategic business plan for the URA. This interest and commitment from the various stakeholders present will allow the URA to move forward together in the implementation of the three-year road map for regulating the utility business, she said.
Moreover, Mrs Potani announced that the preparation of the URA business plans and budget for the 2019-2020 financial year have been guided by this strategic plan and a six months road map to December 2019 has also been developed. This process, she stated, will lead to the operationalisation of the URA Licensing Framework which is one of the key and critical activities of the Strategic plan.
The Chairperson of the URA, Mr Philip Ah-Chuen, also present at the launching, highlighted that the Strategic Business Plan has taken into account the country’s macroeconomic environment characterised by the changing economic mainstay towards offshore financial services and tourism which demand clean, better reliability, availability and stability of utility services to support businesses that run on twenty-four by seven basis.
According to him, the Strategic plan has also taken on board the emerging significance of the renewable energy sources and how to take care of its impact on investment profiles and the regulatory skills requirements to facilitate their integration in the power supply equation.
The Utility Regulation Authority Strategic Business Plan 2019-2022
The URA was officially launched in September 2016 with the appointment of a Chairperson and Commissioners as per the provisions of the URA Act which was enacted in November 2004 to be further amended in 2008 and 2016.
The URA’s strategic objectives have been aligned with the aspirations of Mauritius to ensure that the strategic plan catalyses the achievement of Government Policies and Strategies for the utility sector in line with the broader economic development agenda for the country. The strategy also focuses on empowering utility consumers to effectively participate on utility regulatory matters that impact on them and ensure that they get value for money services through premium service quality delivered to them.
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