Baradar orders security agencies to help DABS recover money owed for electricity

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Economic Commission, headed by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, acting first deputy prime minister, instructed security agencies on Monday to work with the country’s power utility company, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), to recover money owed to them by government departments and powerful individuals.

According to DABS officials, many government departments and powerful individuals have not paid their bills since the fall of the previous government in August.

The Economic Commission also instructed representatives of Da Afghanistan Bank (Central Bank), and state-owned companies, to establish a regular mechanism to reduce banking restrictions on state-owned companies.

In addition, the Economic Commission instructed all ministries to prepare their economic and development project plans and submit them to the Supreme Leader of the IE, Hibatullah Akhundzada, as soon as possible.

This comes after DABS said it is requesting permission to confiscate and sell property and assets owned by former government officials and prominent individuals who had not paid outstanding electricity bills – in some cases for years.

DABS also stated that Afghanistan owes $62 million to four neighboring countries for imported electricity.

Safiullah Ahmadzai, acting operational director of DABS, said that once this process has been finalized and approved by the caretaker cabinet, the company will start seizing and selling properties owned by customers who owe large sums of money and who have left the country.

According to DABS, customers owe around 500 million AFs and that its revenue collection has dropped by 70 percent since the fall of the former government.