By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: The Wolesi Jirga or Lower House of the parliament had given green signal to Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) to bring significant hike in power prices ranging from Afs2 to Afs7 per kilowatt (kW).
Lawmakers on Wednesday approved a presidential decree on the management of electricity services and payment of power bills on a monthly basis. The decree on energy security and expansion of power infrastructure and services were placed before lawmakers around four months ago.
Bi-monthly payment of power bills or monthly bills payment were the only thing where the lawmakers differed on. Eventually the lawmakers agreed on monthly payment of electricity bill.
Sahib Khan, a representative from Logar province, said that hike in power prices are ranging from Afs2 to Afs7 per kilowatt (kW).
If a consumer uses up 200 kW, he will pay Afs2 additional (per kilowatt), from 200 to 400 kW will cost Afs3 additional, from 300 to 700 kW to cost Afs5 additional, and from 700 to 2000 kW to cost Afs7.
Shukria Paikan, another lawmaker, said that monthly payment of electricity bill would be of no use because DABS would not be able to collect bills every month. She added that the consumers would fail to pay their bills on time and could result in surcharges.
“Bi-monthly payment of electricity bills will also lead to surcharges because DABS send bills based on energy consumption,” another lawmaker Ghulam Hossain Nasiri said. He added that delay in paying bills would overcharge masses.
Kabul city needs 500 megawatt power, where DABS provide 270 megawatt from Turkmenistan, 70 megawatt from hydropower dam, and 40 megawatt from diesel generators. But still DBAS face shortage of 120 megawatt electricity.