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Problems & challenges in issuing monthly electricity bills

By: Shukria Kohistani

A number of Afghan citizens has opposed recent announcement of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sharkat (DABS) in connection with issuing electricity bills every month, asking the electricity company to review its decision as it is not in their interest.
It is said that people’s demand for issuing the electricity bills on monthly basis had been ignored for years, but recently DABS has announced that the bills would be then issues on monthly basis, saying that the changes are in the benefit of its subscribers. With DABS going for issuing the electricity bills on monthly basis, Afghan citizens faces with lots of problems and challenges.
Officials for Da Afghanistan Breshna Sharkat say the process of issuing electricity bills on months basis will be first implemented in Kabul and then in all provinces of the country. The process has been already implemented in Kabul whose residents have received the first such bills for the month of April.
“Issuing the electricity bills on monthly basis is not only in the interest of DABS but the company should annually provide 60 million AFG to pay the salaries of new 315 employees who have been recruited following the changes,” said Sangar Niazi, a spokesperson of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sharkat.
He added that DABS has purchased equipment worth 30m AFG to bitter manage the new changes within the company.
According to DABS, one of the benefits of the new changes is that electricity subscriber can manage their expenses in consideration to their incomes each month. The DABS spokesperson further said that the company would face with nearly 1b AFG loss each month if it did not bring changes in price of categories.
Mohammad Amin, working on streets in Kabul, says as thousands of others working on streets everyday to make a living for our families, it is difficult to pay for the electricity bills if issued on monthly basis.
“We worked for two months to fine some money to pay for the electricity bills, but now it is so difficult for us to find money on monthly basis to pay for the electricity,” Mohammad Amin said.
Meanwhile, with DABS’s recent announcement to change the electricity bills from bimonthly to monthly basis, National Water Regulatory Management Authority says based on the law, DABS is not authorized to bring changes in electricity bills. The authority has summoned DABS’ officials to brief related to recent changes within the company.
A spokesperson to National Water Regulatory Management Authority told media that the issue of specification of the electricity bills is the job of their authority rather than DABS. “Officials for Da Afghanistan Breshna Sharkat have been summoned to make clear why they went for issuing the electricity bills on monthly basis and whether the decision has been shared with the cabinet or not,”said Ahmad Sayer Nikzad, a spokesperson to National Water Regulatory Management Authority. Although the DABS spokesperson says they’ve brought changes in category and the company is authority to do so, but recently clarifications released by DABS show that changes have been brought not only in category but also in the price of category.

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The Kabul Times.