The Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), the national power distribution company, faces a 60 percent reduction in revenues over the COVID-19 outbreak.
The company, therefore, has asked for a $50 million loan from the Afghan government to fill this gap, according to DABS officials, who warn that the company will not be able to import electricity over the next few months if it fails to pay its debts.
Afghanistan imports the majority of its needed electricity from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. DABS numbers show that 80% of Afghanistan’s electricity is imported, and the country pays almost $280 million for this annually. Kabul often goes dark when power supply lines are destroyed or damaged in armed conflicts.
According to DABS, government institutions have not paid their electricity bills for the first three months of this year, for the amount of Afs2.8 billion ($36.6 million).
The $50 million loan proposal is not part of the debts that the government institutions would have to pay to the power company, according to DABS chairman Amanullah Ghalib.
“There will be another crisis if we cannot purchase electricity from the neighboring countries or if we can not pay our debts,” Ghalib told TOLOnews on Sunday.
DABS officials said some of its customers including industrial parks, a portion of the nation's population, and a number of strongmen have not paid their bills for the past few months.