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Telecom services shutdown: Balkh traders suffer huge loss

Telecom services shutdown: Balkh traders suffer huge loss

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Jul 24, 2019 - 19:33

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Chamber of Commerce officials in northern Balkh province say the private sector and traders suffered millions of dollars loss as a result of telecom services suspension in the province.

Local traders say all their commercial communications have been cut off, asking the government to respond to the problem immediately.

All private telecom companies in Balkh have been suspending their services overnight since the last four days while the local administration has called the move a plot and ordered the companies to close their offices.

Arash Younisi, head of Balkh Chamber of Commerce, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the private sector and traders suffered millions of dollars loss as a result of the telecom services shutdown in the province during the last four days.

He said economic and commercial activities declined in the province after the suspension of telecom services and the local administration and telecom companies have so far provided no convincing response to the public.

He said the people’s and traders’ contacts with their partners inside the country and abroad had been cut off.

“If this problem continues, domestic and foreign traders may withdraw their capital in the province and move elsewhere,” he feared.

“Activities of many banks are frozen or reduced, major markets and bazaars are also facing stagnation,” Younusi said.

He added the ongoing situation in Balkh was unacceptable and the government must put an end to the problem.

A trader in Balkh, Mohammad Shafiq also said commercial affairs were damaged as a result of the telecom services blackout.

Telecom companies use to suspend their services in Balkh unexpectedly, a problem that has affected both the ordinary people and traders, he said.

He added the current situation in Balkh was the same as it was before 2001 when there were no telecom services available.

“For how long the telecom services will get closed by the Talibaninfo-icon during the night and by the government during day time, this situation needs to change”, he said.

Meanwhile, Balkh provincial council head Afzal Hadid also said that the public and traders faced with serious problem due to telecom services shutdown in the province.

He blamed telecom companies for the situation and said the companies should resume their operations as soon as possible.

Hadid said efforts were underway for finding a solution to the problem and telecom services would be restored as soon as possible.

Pajhwok tried to contact telecom companies’ officials for comment about the issue, but no one responded.

A statement from the Balkh governor’s house said telecom companies would not be allowed to operate until they made their services available for 24 hours a day.

The statement said there were no security threats against telecom companies in Balkh.

Mds/ma

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