On 8 and 9 July the municipal and etrap offices of Dashoguz gas supply department were overcrowded with people queuing up to pay their gas bills. The previous day the employed residents of the velayat were warned that gas supply would be cut off in case debts were not settled.
Correspondents of Chronicles of Turkmenistan report that the executives of organizations and agencies issued official orders for their employees requesting them to pay the bills. It appears that they had received the order from Ashgabat.
The staff members of the municipal gas authority turned out to be unable to serve and accept payments from such a large number of customers. The offices of organizations were empty as all employees spent the day in the queues.
Under the pretext that the organization employees are unable to serve the customers who took time off work a decision was made that the staff of the gas department will pay visits to organizations to collect payments, which was done on 11 and 12 July.
A female employee of the municipal library said that payments were collected for the period from 2016 up to the present if people had not previously paid the gas bills. Those who made payments were encouraged to pay until the end of the year by multiplying the meter data for the first six months of the year. If no gas meter was installed, the estimate was made based on the standard consumption rate. The average annual fee is about 36 to 42 manats.
It is reported that the employees of the city gas department were not equipped with PDQ terminals and accepted only cash payments.
An employee of the financial department from one of the velayat's etrap attributed this to a shortage of cash in the province.
It has become quite common that ATMs have no cash. There is always a shortage of cash in the etrap to pay retirement benefits and child and disability allowances. I believe this is how the authorities are hoping to collect cash to the coffers, the man said.
Chronicles of Turkmenistan has previously reported that the ATMs across the country experience a deficit of cash and for this reason farmers have failed to obtain payments for the crops they harvested and the elderly are unable to get their retirement allowances.
Let us recall that on 5 July President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedovcharged Chairperson of the Supreme Control Chamber Gadyrgeldi Mushshikov with the task of exercising regular control over the collection of payments for public utilities bills as well as extending types of payment options.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan