Afghanistan’s Chamber of Craftsmen and Shopkeepers (ACS) said Tuesday that they are facing several challenges in the country including the expectation of exorbitant taxes.
In a meeting with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and the ACS, the head of the chamber, Noorulhaq Omari called on the authorities to remove the challenges and work with investors and craftsmen to develop the sector.
Omari said if existing problems are not resolved, craftsmen will start evading tax and cease to operate in the country.
Other ACS members said that they cannot afford the taxes that have been imposed. They also urged the IEA to work with them to resolve their issues.
The Islamic Emirate, however, says that it has plans to sort out the problems – for small, medium and large businesses in the sector.
“The current tax [system], which has been in place for five years now, is not achievable in this current economic climate and will lead to tax evasion and a drop in activity,” said Omari.
Zabihullah Mujahid, the IEA’s spokesman, said substantial progress has been made in various fields in the last six months.
Mujahid said that all the energy used to end the war and the “occupation” by foreign troops will now be used “for the development of the country and the advancement of the economy and the country’s resources”.
Ministry of Finance officials meanwhile said they are looking at cutting tax for small businesses and craftsmen by more than 50 percent.
“We have offered you a discount of more than 50 percent. My request to you is not to count taxes as consumption. Tax is not consumption. This is an investment,” said Meraj Mohammad Meraj, Director General of Revenue of the Ministry of Finance.
The leadership of the Ministry of Economy also emphasized the need for people to support small businesses and craftsmen in the country.
“When there is no safe environment, people are worried, like you look at the last twenty years and the life that has passed,” said Sheikh Mohammad Khalid Hanafi, the Acting of the Ministry of Vice and Virtue of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
According to the ACS, 40 percent of the craftsmen lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and the lack of support from the previous government.
Medical supply factory worth $25 million inaugurated in Kabul
A plasma volume expander producing factory with an investment of $25 million has been inaugurated in Afghan capital Kabul, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said on Monday.
TJL Pharmaceutical factory, which was built in Pul-i-Charkhi Industrial Park, has the capacity to produce 110,000 bags of different types of plasma volume expander every 24 hours. This factory has provided employment for more than 1,000 people.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Qudratullah Jamal said: “The private sector has played a very important role in the prosperity of the country and it creates job opportunities for our youths.”
He also asked the people to use domestic products for the development of the country’s industry.
Meanwhile, the industrialists also asked the commerce ministry to pay attention to the distribution of land to the industrialists, the elimination of power outages in industrial parks, and the increase of import tariffs on materials in which Afghanistan is self-sufficient or is becoming self-sufficient.
Plasma volume expanders (PVEs) are fluids given intravenously to increase or retain the volume of fluid in the circulatory system.
Afghanistan exports 150 tons of dried tomatoes to Europe
State-owned corporation Spinzar has dispatched 150 tons of dried tomatoes in the first such consignment to Europe, officials announced Sunday.
“This is a great achievement of the Islamic Emirate which exports vegetables from Afghanistan to European countries,” Abdul Hamid Akhundzada, head of the company said as quoted in a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance.
Spinzar company resumed operations around a year ago after decades of closure.
It also produces and processes cotton, cottonseed oil, sesame and tissue paper.
Members of private security meet with Kazakhstan counterparts
A bilateral meeting between members of the private sectors of Afghanistan and Kazakhstan was held in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Tuesday with the aim of attracting more investment in the country.
At the meeting, representatives of the private sector of the two countries discussed investments in various sectors including the non-alcoholic beverages sector, gemstones stones and minerals, chemical fertilizers, car batteries, clothing and textiles, petroleum products, flour and wheat, the ministry said.
They also discussed tourism, investment in restaurant businesses and food, the ministry added.
Furthermore, the businessmen and investors of Kazakhstan thanked the Afghans for their hospitality and described Afghanistan as a safe place and a suitable environment for business and investment.
Representatives of the private sector of Kazakhstan spoke about holding exhibitions in Kabul, Balkh and Kandahar provinces, adding that in the near future they plan to hold exhibitions of Afghan manufacturing industries in Kazakhstan and an exhibition of Kazakh products in Afghanistan.
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