The $3.5 billion in Afghan central bank assets that were transferred to a Swiss-based trust fund have generated $36 million interest, Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi, a member of the fund’s board said this week.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Ariana News, Ahadi said that there have been no disbursments since the fund was created in recent months.
“It has been put in circulation over the last few months. It has generated $36 million interest which are added to the assets. But it is possible that there will be disbursements in the future,” Ahadi said.
The former Afghan central bank chief and former finance minister also suggested that the assets could also be used to provide liquidity to the banking system in Afghanistan.
“We want to reach an understanding in this regard with the central bank and the finance ministry,” he said.
Ahadi said that the main purpose of establishing the fund is preserving the central bank’s assets.
“After Afghanistan’s relations with the world become normal, the assets will be transferred to the central bank,” Ahadi added.
The $3.5 billion forms part of an original $7 billion being held in the United States following the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) takeover in August 2021.
No representative of the central bank is in the board managing the fund. Ahadi said that an advisory committee that will be created later and it will likely have represetnative of the central bank.
IEA’s Ministry of Finance: The recent report of SIGAR is far from the truth
The Ministry of Finance of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) considered the recent report of “SIGAR” about companies and institutions in Afghanistan to be far from the truth and rejected it.
In the announcement that was published by this ministry on Sunday (5th January), it is stated: “The Office of the Special Inspector General of the United States of America for Afghanistan “SIGAR” has claimed in its quarterly report to the US Congress that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, receives money from those organizations and institutions that work in the field of humanitarian aid; under the license fee, tax and administrative fees, which provide a large part of Afghanistan’s revenue The Ministry of Finance of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considers the said report to be far from the truth and rejects it separately.”
“The Ministry of Finance has exempted those organizations and institutions that are active in the field of humanitarian aid, No money is received from them, and no administrative expenses are imposed on them.” Read the ministry statement.
The Ministry of Finance has also added that in all the country’s customs, the customs tariff of the goods imported by these organizations and institutions has reached zero, and the goods of the mentioned institutions enter the country without tax.
According to this ministry, only license fee is taken from foreign organizations and institutions, which is a small amount and has a legal framework and is balanced with other countries and has no effect on Afghanistan’s national income.
The Ministry of Finance has assured that the organs of the Islamic Emirate, including the Ministry of Finance, provide administrative, financial and security facilities for the organizations and institutions that operate in the field of humanitarian aid and are committed to all their promises in this field and in the distribution and sending of humanitarian aid they are partners with them.
Flour mill opens in Herat province
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce says that a new flour mill has opened and is now operational in Herat province.
Afghan Industry and Commerce Minister Nooruddin Azizi, inaugurated the flour mill, which is privately owned, on Saturday in the presence of an accompanying delegation.
According to the ministry, Azizi thanked the business owner for investing in the mill, which was built in Phase 1 of Herat Industrial Park at a cost of $1.2 million.
The flour mill will be able to produce 180 tons of flour per day, and has provided employment for more than 700 people.
Afghanistan, Pakistan sign draft convention to avoid double taxation
Afghanistan and Pakistan have signed a draft convention to avoid double taxation between the two countries.
The convention was signed after three-day talks concluded in Islamabad on Friday, Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue said in an announcement.
The Afghan delegation was headed by Revenue Legal Services Director Nida Muhammad Seddiqi while FBR’s International Tax Operations DG Sajidullah Siddiqui headed the Pakistani delegation.
The sides thoroughly deliberated over all the outstanding issues identified during the second round of negotiations held in Islamabad from 27th-30th December, 2021.
FBR Chairman Asim Ahmad thanked the Afghan delegation for visiting Pakistan and expressed optimism that the convention will further strengthen economic relations between the two countries.
Pakistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan welcomed the move as “another important step forward.”
“It took us some 12 years to cross this milestone. Investors, contractors and businesses on both sides will benefit significantly,” Mohammad Sadiq said on Twitter.
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