Memorandum of Understandings for the construction of five educational infrastructures was signed between Afghanistan and India on Sunday.
According to the agreement, three schools and two universities will be built in Nuristan, Farah, Badakhshan, and Kapisa with the cost of $ 2.6 million.
The MoUs were signed by Economy Minister Mustafa Mastoor, Higher Education Minister Abdul Tawab Balakarzai, Deputy Education Minister Abdul Subhan Raouf, and Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar on Sunday.
— India in Afghanistan (@IndianEmbKabul) July 5, 2020
The agreement envisages the construction of two schools in Badakhshan province and one school in Nuristan province for the Ministry of Education, and the construction of a road at Kapisa Medical University and the renovation of an educational building in Farah.
“The construction cost of these schools is $ 900,000, which is in Badakhshan and Nuristan provinces,” said Abdul Subhan Rauf, deputy director of administration and finance at the Afghan Ministry of Education.
اسناد تمویل ۵ پروژه به ارزش ۲.۶ میلیون دالر در بخشهای معارف و تحصیلات عالی برای بدخشان،کاپیسا، فراه ونورستان به امضا رسید.
تاحال مجموعاً۵۸۷ پروژه ازکمک ۱۲۰ ملیون دالری کشور دوست هندوستان از طریق وزارت اقتصاد در ۳۴ ولایت کشور در نظر گرفته شده که ۴۲۷ آن به بهره برداری سپرده شده است pic.twitter.com/nHbmo6LoYN
— Mustafa Mastoor (@mmmastoor) July 5, 2020
“These projects should be implemented by the Ministry of Economy as soon as possible,” said Abdul Tawab Balakarzai, Acting Minister of Higher Education.
India’s ambassador to Afghanistan says that the launch of the projects will help increase the capacity of students in Afghanistan adding that apart from physical projects in Afghanistan, India has worked in building capacity of youth in Afghanistan as well.
Since 2005, India has implemented 400 developmental projects in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, which promises to help Afghanistan in the long run in various areas.
Cotton factories ‘owed’ $30 million by Pakistan: Kandahar Chamber
Owners of cotton processing factories in Kandahar said this week that Pakistan is holding back about $30 million dollars owed to the sector in a bid to put them out of business.
According to Sayed Sarwar Amani, the head of the Kandahar Chamber of Commerce and Industries, due to restrictions on banking, Pakistan has failed to pay about $30 million owed to factories in the province.
“Our banking system is defective, we have problems, the banking remittances are closed, especially Pakistan is using this unfairly, it means that a lot of money from our cotton sector which is about $30 million is blocked in Pakistan.
“I can say that they are not paying us the money of 24 factories by referral nor through the banking system nor by TT (telegraphic transfer),” Amani said.
There are 24 cotton processing factories in Kandahar which processed approximately 400,000 tons of cotton last year.
However, due to the challenges faced by the sector, this has dropped to only about 200,000 tons this year.
Chamber officials said Pakistan is trying to create problems for the owners of these factories in order to put them out of business.
Factory owners meanwhile said that a shortage of electricity to their industrial parks was also a major challenge.
Yar Mohammad Rahmani, the owner of one cotton factory, said: “Our main problem is electricity, before the coming of the Islamic Emirate we used to have generators here with 10-Megawatt electricity but we don’t have that now; now we are using solar power and (electricity generated from) Kajaki Dam,” he said adding that factories in the industrial plant got electricity only on alternate days.
Power “is provided one day to the north side of the park and one day to the south, I can say that electricity is our main problem,” he said.
Afghanistan looking to get oil, gas from Russia; hoping to send dry fruits to Moscow
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has shown interest in buying oil and gas from Russia and continuing work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
Pakistan’s Business Standard reported that this comes after Russian energy giants like Gazprom have been hit by sanctions from the Western countries.
However, Jamal Nasir Garwal, the IEA’s charge d’affaires in Moscow, has reaffirmed Afghanistan’s ambition of developing the energy partnership with Russia.
“Yes, we are negotiating in the sphere of business and finance. We are determined and very much want to develop economic cooperation with Russia so that there is progress in relations.
“As for specific areas, we are interested in purchasing fuel and gas, these are the most important areas at the moment, what our country needs in the first place,” said Garwal in an interview with Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.
The Afghan charge d’affaires said the IEA government is relying on Russia to restore the infrastructure, build buildings, roads and other necessary facilities because it had helped Afghanistan in the past.
The negotiations, he said, are currently underway through the Ministries of Trade of Russia and Afghanistan as Kabul remains “determined” to sign specific agreements soon, Business Standard reported.
“We also want our dried fruits and other agricultural products to be delivered to Russia, we are interested in developing this direction. While we have not determined the specific details, but we are negotiating for the future. At the same time, we are not talking about some kind of barter,” Garwal said.
He also said the top leadership in Kabul remains keen to continue the work on the TAPI project, which has already seen more lows than highs since the first TAPI summit held in Ashgabat in December 2010.
With a total length of nearly 1814 km — 214 km of which falls in Turkmenistan, 774 km through Afghanistan, and 826 km in the territory of Pakistan before reaching Fazilka in India’s Punjab — the mega gas pipeline project would connect Turkmenistan, one of the largest energy suppliers in the world, with the South Asian countries.
“Negotiations are underway so that our cooperation within the framework of the project continues… Most importantly, we are very pleased with the security situation: the threats that were before are gone,” said Garwal.
Mining sector records rise in revenue since IEA takeover
Ministry of mines and petroleum officials say that since the August take over by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), the ministry has seen a sharp increase in revenue collected and has earned almost 10 billion Afghanis (AFN).
Officials say that in the past ten days alone, the income has been 800 million AFN.
Ministry of Mines and Petroleum officials say they have received more than 800 million Afghanis in 10 working days since Eid ul-Fitr.
According to these officials, since the IEA’s takeover in August last year, more than 10 billion AFN has been collected and that the revenue is increasing on a daily basis.
“In the last ten days, our revenue has reached nearly 800 million Afghanis and this trend is increasing day by day. We want our mines to have a positive impact on our country’s economy,” said Mufti Esmatullah Burhan, spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum.
Economic experts say the increase in mining revenue is important for the growth of the country’s economy and say that if the Islamic Emirate provides more facilities for investment and eradicate corruption, the economic situation will improve.
“The increase in revenue of the Ministry of Mines is very good news. It is natural that investment in the mining sector has increased, and when investment increases, it is clear that revenue will also increase and jobs will be created and we hope efforts for investment increase too,” said Sayed ul-Rahman Imran, an economic analyst.
According to experts, in addition to the mining sector in Afghanistan, investments should be made in other sectors such as agriculture, livestock, and horticulture, banking and energy production in order to help develop the country.
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