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COVID-19 hampers Bills’ collection

KUWAIT: The coronavirus crisis had an effect on the collections of the Ministry of Electricity and Water, as the total amount collected since January until September is KD 96 million, compared to over KD 300 million last year, despite an increase in consumption by 25 percent this year, because most citizens and expats remained in the country this summer.

There are many reasons behind the drop in collections, including leniency by the ministry in collecting its dues regularly, especially from those with large bills after the ministry stopped the cutting of water supplies on the instructions of acting electricity and water minister Khaled Al-Fadhel,” Al-Rai reported yesterday, quoting sources.

The sources mentioned the fact that consumer affairs offices were closed for a long time since the start of the crisis as another reason, saying that it prevented the ministry from collecting large amounts of money, especially from the investment and commercial owners, while not all customers are aware of e-payment methods. Furthermore, the sources said most consumers stopped paying during the past months, which requires the ministry to take serious steps to restore the collection process as the state is spending millions to provide service to customers.

“The ministry must go back to implementing its measures with regards to collecting bills,” said the sources. “Otherwise, they will accumulate and be difficult to pay in one payment, and this will take the ministry back to square one – of taking undertakings from citizens to pay in installments.”

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