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DABS overcharging poor consumers, allege MPs

DABS overcharging poor consumers, allege MPs

May 22, 2017 - 17:32

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon members on Monday accused Da Afghanistaninfo-icon Breshna Sherkat (DABS) of overbilling, saying the power utility was collecting electricity charges once in two months against the law.

Outspoken lawmaker from Kabul Ramazan Bashardost said DABS was being managed by four ministries, but the department remained unaccountable.

He said the power utility was weak to collect long-unpaid arrears from powerful individuals and instead overcharged ordinary consumers to fill the gap.

The lower house had approved a bill asking DABS to collect electricity payments each month, but the company continued to collect the bills after every two months in order to overcharge consumers.

Razia Sadat Mangal, a representative from southeastern Paktia province, also claimed DABS overcharged consumers and violated the law by collecting payments after two months.

A number of other legislators held similar views and said the company was disobeying the lower house’s directives.

The Wolesi Jirga on January 6, 2016 approved a presidential decree on the management of electricity services and payment of power bills on a monthly basis.

Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi also said DABS was violating the law and continued to collect electricity dues once in two months.

He said DABS had failed to resolve people’s problems despite complaining everyday about overcharged bills.

He once again tasked the house communications commission to assess violations committed by the power utility and share its report with the house’s general session for a decision.

However, DABS spokesman Wahidullah Tawhidi said work on collecting bills on monthly basis was underway. He said the plan would be completed over the next four months.

For implementation of the plan, he said, DABS needed more officers and some codes also needed to be changed, he said.

About corruption in the company, he said, he could not completely deny corruption in his office, but the company’s leadership was committed to fighting the phenomenon.

mds/ma

 

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