Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) on Wednesday said it is preparing to sell off the properties of a number of former government officials and local prominent people who have not paid their electricity bills, in some cases for years.
DABS announced the decision on Tuesday and has also stated that Afghanistan owes $62 million to four neighboring countries for imported electricity.
Safiullah Ahmadzai, acting operational director of DABS, said that after the procedure is finalized and approved by the caretaker cabinet, the company will start selling the properties of the indebted officials and local powerbrokers who have left Afghanistan.
According to DABS, the total amount of electricity bills owed to the company is around 500 million Afs.
“We are working on a procedure. A policy should be established to receive payments for the electricity bills from these people. Based on the policy, we might sell their properties or we will find alternative options,” said Ahmadzai.
To what extent will the sale of properties aid DABS in paying the electricity costs?
Amanullah Ghalib, the former director of DABS, said: “This will address the problem in the short term. An amount of money will be collected to pay the electricity cost--at least an installment. But in the long run, it cannot resolve DABS’ problem.”
Residents of the country welcomed DABS’ decision, saying the company should do all it can to prevent the cutoff of imported electricity.
“Their properties should be sold. They have left the country and will not return. The poor people have paid bills and now electricity should not be cut off for them,” said Rohullah, a Kabul resident.
“Their property should be sold to pay their electricity bills,” said Shafiq, a resident of Baghlan province.
DABS also said its revenue collection has dropped by 70 percent since the fall of the former government.