AIA warns to close factories if power tariff not reduced
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghanistan Industries Association (AIA) on Monday warned of not paying electricity bills and closing factories if the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) did not reduce power tariff.
On May 1, DABS increased the electricity rate by 25 percent in capital Kabul and 13 other provinces due to depreciation of the afghani.
AIA head Sakhi Ahmad Payman told a press conference here that the association had shared the problem of increased power tariff several times with the officials concerned, but no one listened to them.
He warned if the problem was paid no attention, industrialists would refuse to pay their power bills and would close their factories nationwide.
He said currently 200,000 people worked in more than 1,800 factories in the country and adding all the workers would lose their jobs if their problem was not resolved.
The association in a resolution letter said: “If the 25 percent increase in the power tariff is not reversed, industrialists would not pay their bills. We also want tax fines of the previous year to be written off.”
The AIA said industrialists would stage protests if their demands were paid no attention and close their factories if their protests were ignored by the government. The government would then be responsible for any consequences stemming from the factories’ closure.
The AIA head said DABS had started cutting power connections of defaulting factories. Electricity to most of the factories would probably be cut off over the next few days, Payman said.
DABS spokesman Wahidullah Tawhidi told Pajhwok Afghan News the 25 percent increase in power price would not be withdrawn until the value of the afghani increased again.
“DABS purchase electricity in US dollars, we cannot afford losses, the increase in power price is applied on all people equally,” he said.
Tawhidi confirmed DABS had started cutting off electricity to consumers refusing to clear their arrears of the current and previous years.
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