By: Shukria Kohistani
Da Afghanistan Breshna Sharkat (DABS) is complaining of not paying electricity bills by government institutions and ordinary subscribers.
DABS says government institutions and a number of people owe nearly 16 billion AFG to the company, but they have not shown any readiness to pay their bills to the company so far.
According to officials for Da Afghanistan Breshna Sharkat (DABS), as most of the current electricity is being imported from neighboring countries, the company is obliged to pay the bill every month. The company warns it will cut the importing electricity if the electricity subscribers do not pay their bills.
Previously, DABS had demanded the government for providing $50 million loan in case that the problem was not resolved.
“Da Afghanistan Breshna Sharkat (DABS) imports electricity worth $25 million every month from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan; therefore, the company needs to pay the amount to exporters of the electricity on monthly basis,” said Waheedullah Tawhidi, a spokesperson to Da Afghanistan Breshna Sharkat.
He added that the company was not able to pay the amount as a number of government institutions and people did not want to pay their electricity’s bills, saying that government institutions and people owed 16 billion AFG to the company and have not shown readiness so far to pay the bills to the company.
Tawhidi further said that the company would use all possible ways to exert pressures on those owing to the company to pay their bills and loans, but adding that most of the subscribers not ready to pay their loans to the company.
Previously, DABS had disclosed a number of individuals who had not paid their electricity bills, cut their electricity and then introduced to Attorney General Office (AGO). According to the DABS spokesperson, the process of introducing individuals owing to the company to AGO is underway as the company has introduced nearly 133 individuals to AGO due to not paying their electricity bills to the company.
Following coronavirus outbreak in the country, DABS has informed of reduction of its income by 60 percent and asked the government for providing $50 million loan to the company to pay to exporters of the electricity.
According to the company’s spokesperson, to purchase electricity from Uzbekistan, the company has three ways: firstly, the government should provide us $50 million to pay to exporters of electricity on time; secondly, those owing to the company should pay their electricity bills; thirdly, Afghanistan government should resolve the issue through diplomatic channel with exporters of electricity in particular Uzbekistan.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan ministry of finance says debates are underway to pay the loans to the company.
“The demand of loan from the government by DABS was discussed last week, but the company does not need the loan for two months,” said Shamroz Khan Masjidi, a spokesperson to the ministry of finance said.
He added that the managing panel would hold talks with high-ranking government officials of the electricity exporters to resolve the issue.
Regarding to government institutions that owe to the company, Masjidi said both MoF and DABS had signed an agreement based on which the ministry of finance provide a particular amount of money to DABS at the end of each year, but saying that the ministry has not able to pay that amount due to the fact the most of the money has been allocated this year for fighting coronavirus in the country.
Collecting big amount of money from electricity subscribers has been always challenging for DABS, the company that has repeatedly declared that a number of high-ranking officials and powerful figures are resisting not to pay their electricity bills or loans to the company.
Afghanistan is highly dependent on imports to meet its electricity needs. 77 percent of electricity in Afghanistan is imported from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Iran.