25pc hike in power tariff to collapse local industries
A month ago, Da Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (DABS) announced increasing the power tariff by 25 percent for consumers in Kabul and 13 other provinces who use imported electricity, linking the hike to the depreciation of the afghani against the US dollar.
“The 25 percent increase in electricity charges means making domestic industry to stop production because industrialists already face several economic challenges and cannot pay extra bills,” Afghanistan Industrial Association (AIA) chairman Sakhi Ahmad Peyman told a press conference here.
He said there were 2000 small and medium size factories across the country and most of them would collapse if the government did not reverse its decision and no entrepreneur would be willing to invest in the country.
He asked the government to revisit the increase in power price and provide credit facilities and land to industrialists because local industries were the main pillar of the country’s economic development.
Meshrano Jirga chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar, who was present at the press conference, asked the government to resolve problems industrialists faced and reserve the decision of increasing the cost of per unit electricity.
National Union of Afghanistan Workers and Employees (NUAWE) director Mohammad Maroof Qadari said low-paid government employees could not pay the increased power price.
“If the government doesn’t revise its decision, workers, industrialists and all people would launch protests against the injustice,” he said.
Likewise, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI)’s first deputy head also called the government’s decision as unjust, saying the government had so far done nothing to support entrepreneurship and industrialists over the past 14 years.
“Taxes should be increased in accordance with the national Constitution and under parliament observation. Why decisions of increasing taxes are being taken without consulting the parliament or against the Constitution?” he asked.
“DABS could also compensate its losses through other ways. It should collect unpaid electricity bills from owners of big buildings, recreational spots and other powerful men who deny to pay arrears,” he said.
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