Briefing the Afghan senate’s committee on telecommunication affairs, acting minister of communication and information technology, Mohammad Fahim Hashimi, said that all telecom companies operating in Afghanistan have been connected to the electronic billing system of the Real-Time Data Management System (RTDMS).
Mr. Hashimi, who was summoned by the Senate’s committee on Saturday, December 28, shared his planning on internet services, the real-time system, the Afghan Telecom, and other issues with the Afghan senators.
The RTDMS has made the ministry capable to monitor the 10 percent tax on customer service of all telecom companies, the acting minister said.
He underlined that the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) is working on the Open Access Policy to create a balanced competing sphere among the telecom companies in the country. “Creating balance and competition among telecom companies will reduce the cost for internet service and would provide a quality service,” he added.
Hashimi also said that the ministry has taken initiative to promote Sallam Company— a state run telecom company—across the country.
The MCIT had signed contract on installing the RTDMS with the foreign firms namely Bustos Group LLC and LATRO Services, a sub-contractor, in February 2019.
A former MCIT minister, Abdul Raziq Wahidi, was trialed by the Afghan government over failure to install the real time system but he was acquitted by a special appeal court of the Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center on December 25, 2018.
Wahid accused former Minister of Finance, Eklil Hakimi, for failure to install the real-time system on July 02, 2018. He noted that only the finance minister had access to the MCIT’s account in Afghanistan’s central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank, where all collected money was deposited. Mr. Hakimi is close to President Ghani.
The claim was, however, rejected by the MCIT’s spokesperson, Ajmal Abdul Rahimzai, on Wednesday, July 04, 2018.
In an investigative report released by Etilaat-e-Roz on February 11, 2018, showed that installation of the RTDMS was delayed consecutively due to failures of the high level officials and rampant corruption existing in collection of the 10 percent tax.