Afghanistan's sole power supply company, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), says it has lost more than $1 billion in revenue over the past two months in seven provinces alone, as more than 200 districts and several customs offices have reportedly fallen to the Taliban.
According to Breshna officials, the company is currently unable to collect payments from about 104,000 of its customers in Herat, Balkh, Kunduz, Sar-e-Pul, Faryab, Baghlan and Takhar provinces.
The company said that the loss it suffered in seven provinces in a two-month period is 20 times worse than the loss from across all the provinces in the past.
Breshna has lost an average of more than 330 million Afghanis each year due to insecurity in Taliban-controlled areas over the past fifteen years, but since the start of the solar year 1385, the total loss has been 5 billion Afghanis.
Breshna spokesman Mohammad Hashem Sangar Niazi said: “About 1.126 billion Afghanis worth of power bills were not collected from these provinces due to insecurity. In the named provinces there are at least 104,693 customers of Breshna.”
According to information obtained from officials, more than 312,000 Breshna customers reside in Taliban-controlled areas.
“The calculation of the power usage meters has been suspended in areas where there are security challenges. God willing, and upon finding a solution for the challenge, our colleagues will be deployed to those areas and the reading or calculating of the meters will resume,” said Zainab Mohseni, Breshna’s public relations manager in Herat.
Economic experts warn that the continued decline in Breshna’s revenue will render the company incapable of repaying foreign countries to import power.
Every year Breshna purchases about $300 million worth of electricity from foreign countries.
Economic affairs expert Shafi Samim said: “It strongly impacts the economic sector and the national income. On the other hand, it paves the way for the companies importing power to cut the power on Breshna .”
Earlier, the Ministry of Finance announced that the country's customs revenues had decreased by 2.7 billion Afghanis in a month following the fall of several ports or border crossings to the Taliban.
The Taliban previously confirmed that they are collecting electricity bill payments from Breshna customers in areas under their control.