July 24, 2008

Afghan, Tajik Ministers Disagree on Terms for Electricity Supply

Text of report by privately-owned Afghan Ariana TV on 23 July

[Presenter] Reports suggest that the ministers of water and energy of Afghanistan and Tajikistan do not agree on the price of electricity from Tajikistan to Afghanistan. A month ago, the two ministers agreed to finalize a memorandum of understanding on Tajikistan supplying power to Afghanistan, but now the Afghan Minister of Water and Energy Mohammad Esmail has declined to sign the agreement. The Afghan ambassador to Tajikistan says the problem is not only with the electricity price, the Afghan side is not satisfied with the period during which Tajikistan offers to provide the electricity. My colleague has more details:

[Reporter] The minister of water and energy of Tajikistan has said that he does not agree to the conditions put forward by the Afghan minister of water and energy. There is disagreement both on the price and time frame. Afghan officials say that currently, Afghanistan is paying two cents per one kilowatt of electricity to Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and cannot increase the price for Tajikistan.

According to the Afghan ambassador to Tajikistan, the two ministers do not agree on the time frame for electricity supply. The Afghan Ministry of Water and Energy says efforts are under way to convince the Tajik government to agree to the conditions and the Afghan minister will soon travel to Tajikistan to discuss the issue.

Tajikistan's water and energy minister has announced that Tajikistan will provide electricity to Afghanistan from 2010 to 2015, five months a year, but the Afghan minister does not agree on the issue and demands an increase in the number of months per year.

Originally published by Ariana TV, Kabul, in Dari 1530 23 Jul 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring South Asia. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.