ACCI asks DABS to review decision on power tariff
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on Monday criticised the 25percent increase in power tariff as ‘unenforceable’ and called for the decision to be rolled back.
Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) on Sunday announced increasing by 25 percent per unit charge to be effective from March.
The DABS decision will affect consumers in Kabul and 13 provinces who use electricity imported from central Asian countries. DABS said the decision to increase electricity rate came in response to the depreciation of the afghani against the US dollar.
But ACCI deputy chairman Khan Jan Alokozai told a press conference the new tariff could not be enforced because citizens and entrepreneurships could not afford to pay higher electricity bills. “So I ask DABS to go back on its decision.”
He said the semi-government power utility should find other alternative ways for increasing its revenue.
Afghanistan Industrialists Association chairman Sher Baz Kaminzada also asked the government to review its decision on power consumption because ordinary people and industrialists could not pay increased power bills.
According to Alokozai, a new 13-article draft, prepared by the Ministry of Finance, ACCI and the industrialists association, was approved by the High Economic Council during a meeting chaired by the president on Sunday.
He added customs duty on imported raw material had been reduced from the more than 10 percent to one percent and duty on imported machineries for factories had been removed.
Customs duty on some other import goods such as sugar, paper and others, which could be used as raw material in producing other goods, has been also slashed by 2.5 percent, he added.
Throughout Afghanistan’s history, Alokozai said it was for the first-ever time that such a strategy had been developed to support domestic industries, improve local products, reduce imports, increase exports and prevent capital flight.
“If practical steps towards supporting industries are not taken, the economy of Afghanistan will not be improved and the war will continue,” he said.
Alokozai also asked the government to take urgent measures for security of the private sector because abductions and robbery cases had increased in the country.
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