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Saffron sector suffering as 50% of exporters close down

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(Last Updated On: September 21, 2022)

Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock officials said Wednesday that 50 percent of the saffron exporting companies in the country have stopped operating due to a number of reasons including the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic turmoil in Afghanistan.

Chamber officials have appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to take measures to help farmers cultivate saffron and grow the export sector.

The Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MoAIL) says that they have started the process of distributing saffron bulbs to farmers and that they are committed to supporting the sector.

Saffron is considered one of the most important agricultural products of the country, but in recent years, producers and exporters have faced many problems.

Industry experts said the pandemic had a huge impact on export volumes as did the political developments in the country.

According to the Agriculture and Livestock Chamber, although the country’s saffron is world famous, the situation is getting worse every day and half of the export companies have stopped operating.

“Our country’s saffron has a good name and good buyers in the international markets, and we hope that the sector ministries will pay serious attention to saffron,” said Mirwais Hajizada, the deputy of the Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock.

According to him, the number of active export companies in this sector was once 70, but now only 35 are still operational. Hundreds of people have also lost their jobs.

“Our problem is related to the last four years, and we are currently facing problems for export, and our production has also decreased. We must pay serious attention to this sector,” said Mohammad Naser Faizi, a member of the Saffron Exporters Association.

Ministry officials said they have expanded their efforts to develop the saffron sector and have started the process of distributing saffron bulbs to farmers in some provinces.

“We are trying to provide more facilities in the field of saffron cultivation, production and export so that we can have our customers in the international markets like before,” said Mawolavi Mesbahuddin Mustaeen, the ministry’s spokesperson.

Experts have said that with the ban on poppy farming, saffron could be a good alternative for these farmers.

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IEA’s Ministry of Finance: The recent report of SIGAR is far from the truth

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(Last Updated On: February 6, 2023)

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.

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Flour mill opens in Herat province

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(Last Updated On: February 5, 2023)

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.

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Afghanistan, Pakistan sign draft convention to avoid double taxation

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(Last Updated On: February 4, 2023)

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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