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IEA approves national budget for solar year 1401

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(Last Updated On: May 14, 2022)

Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, said Saturday that this year’s budget has been approved.

He said the budget, unlike in previous years, is entirely made up of domestic revenue and without any foreign financial support.

According to the ministry of finance, the budget was approved by Council of Ministers of the IEA and IEA’s Supreme Leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada.

The budget for fiscal year 1401 is 231 billion Afghanis (AFN), of which 203 billion is the regular budget and 27.9 billion AFN is the development budget.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the IEA’s spokesman, said in a tweet that 1401 budget is made up entirely of domestic revenue.

The ministry of finance meanwhile added that there is a deficit of 44 billion AFN in the budget. However, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will achieve its goals by the end of the year based on a financial plan.

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IEA delegation in Uzbekistan for talks on expanding economic ties

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(Last Updated On: July 2, 2022)

Leading a delegation of officials, Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce Nooruddin Azizi left for Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, on Saturday and will meet with Uzbek authorities to discuss the expansion of trade, facilitating transit and solving problems of Afghan businessmen.

A number of businessmen and investors are also accompany Azizi on this trip. 

These businessmen say that they plan to discuss joint ventures with Uzbek businessmen.

While relations between Kabul and Tashkent have improved, the hope is that economic ties can be strengthened. 

According to Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Investment (ACCI) officials, the annual trade volume between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan totals $400 million but, they say, there is huge potential to expand these relations.

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Pakistan to issue six-month multiple entry visas to Afghan truck drivers

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(Last Updated On: June 29, 2022)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed authorities to issue six-month multiple entry visas to truck drivers from Afghanistan, it was reported Wednesday.

Initially, multiple entry visas will be issued for a period of six months, and later it could be extended to period of one year, Pakistan’s The News reported.

Documents required with the visa application will include the applicant’s photograph, passport, registration as a transport company, and employment letter.

The move is aimed at promoting trade with Afghanistan.

Moreover, for the promotion of ease of doing business, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Board of Investment will link the online visa system with online payments.

“We need to remove all hurdles for Afghans in order to help them and to provide them a conducive environment to invest in Pakistan…,” Sharif said, noting that a policy in this regard would be formulated within two weeks.

This comes a day after Pakistan’s PM ordered import of coal from Afghanistan to be paid in rupees.

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IEA calls for release of frozen funds following deadly earthquake

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

Afghanistan’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has called on international governments to roll back sanctions and lift a freeze on central bank assets following the earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people and left thousands homeless.

The 6.1-magnitude quake that struck the east of the country early on Wednesday destroyed or damaged 10,000 homes and injured about 2,000 people.

“The Islamic Emirate is asking the world to give the Afghans their most basic right, which is their right to life and that is through lifting the sanctions and unfreezing our assets and also giving assistance,” Abdul Qahar Balkhi, foreign affairs ministry spokesman, told Reuters in an interview.

While humanitarian aid continues to flow to Afghanistan, funds needed for longer-term development were halted when the IEA seized control of the country in August 2021 as foreign forces withdrew.

Billions of U.S. dollars in Afghan central bank reserves remain frozen overseas and sanctions hamper the banking sector as the West pushes for concessions on human rights.

Western governments are particularly concerned about the rights of women and girls to work under IEArule.

Asked about the issue, Balkhi said Afghans’ right to life-saving funds should be the priority, adding that the international community handled concerns over human rights differently depending on the country involved.

“Is this rule universal? Because the United States just passed an anti-abortion law,” Balkhi said, referring to the Supreme Court’s overturning on Friday of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that recognised a woman’s right to an abortion.

“Sixteen countries in the world have taken away the rights of religious minorities, especially Muslims … are they also facing sanctions because they are violating rights?,” he asked.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Saturday the U.S. government was working on “complicated questions about the use of these (frozen central bank) funds to ensure they benefit the people of Afghanistan and not the Taliban (IEA).”

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