TAPI construction to start in Herat next year
Minister of Mines and Petroleum Mohammad Haroon Chakhansuri on Thursday said that construction work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline Project will kick off next year.
Speaking at a press conference Chakhansuri said the ministry has established an effective coordination mechanism between government institutions involved in the TAPI project and also with international institutions and TAPI partners.
“Fortunately, all the administrative, technical and legal problems of the TAPI project have been resolved and the practical work of this project will start next year in Herat province,” said Chakhansuri.
The minister also said that another project the ministry is working on is the construction of a 94.5 km-long gas pipeline from Sheberghan, capital city of Jawzjan province, to Mazar-e-Sharif and construction work will start in the next three months.
“The gas that will be transferred from Sheberghan to Mazar-e-Sharif through this pipeline will be used to generate 50 megawatts of electricity,” said Chakhansuri.
The minister said that soon 67 projects that have been approved by the High Economic Council will be put out to tender in accordance with Afghanistan’s mining laws and after the completion of the process companies that meet the standards will be awarded the contracts.
“These 67 projects will add 150 to 170 million Afghanis to Afghanistan’s national income, in addition to which 5 million Afghanis will be invested in these projects for five years and will directly provide employment to 3,000 people,” Chakhansuri said.
Afghanistan’s exports total $2 billion for last solar year
The deputy minister of trade and industry said on Tuesday at a press conference that Afghanistan’s exports totaled $2 billion for the past solar year.
Presenting his financial report for the 1401 solar year, Mawlavi Qadratullah Jamal said: “For the first time, Afghanistan’s exports have reached about two billion dollars, which shows an increase of 135 percent compared to [solar year] 1400 and 166 percent compared to 1399.”
According to the deputy minister, the recent actions of the Islamic Emirate’s administrations on improving the trade balance, maintaining monetary stability, creating work opportunities and providing transparency in revenue collection are among the reasons for the growth in Afghanistan’s trade and export revenue.
“During the last year, with a total value of $925.5 million, coal, cotton, hemp, pomegranate, raisins, figs, grapes, Roman eggplant, black pine nuts and onions to Pakistan, India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, China, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Kazakhstan have been exported,” Jamal said.
Officials add that in order to standardize and increase the country’s exports, the ministry plans to establish export processing centers in five zones around the country.
Officials have also said that the necessary facilities have been provided for importing goods and that the private sector can import their goods without any problems.
The deputy minister added that in order to strengthen trade, facilitate exports and imports and expand cooperation between countries, necessary arrangements have been made with neighboring countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.
The officials of the ministry say that in terms of development and improvement of the industry in Afghanistan, fundamental steps have been taken, which includes growth in 50 sectors – including the iron smelting and skewer production sector, the spice sector, the soft drink production sector, the carpet sector and the printing sector.
According to the ministry, there are 51 industrial parks in the country, of which 14 industrial parks have been kept active during the last year, and efforts are underway to attract investment and reactivate all industrial parks.
According to the officials, in terms of attracting domestic and foreign investments, by providing the necessary facilities, the barriers to the investors have been removed.
Recently, a service center was established at the Kabul airport, and so far, 100 investors have received visas through this center. In addition, the ministry has created a legal and regulatory framework so that domestic and foreign investors can invest in the country with full confidence.
Also, the complex and time-consuming processes have been modified and now the private sector and entrepreneurs can receive, renew or cancel their licenses in the shortest possible time, officials said.
According to the ministry, during the last year, 5,100 licenses were distributed, 7,228 licenses were renewed and 333 licenses were canceled and 7,000 business passports were also distributed.
According to officials, during the year 1401, the amount of 341.6 million afghanis was allocated to this ministry and the amount of 15.5 million afghanis was allocated to this ministry, of which 83.3 percent of this amount was used.
Also, in 1401, a total amount of 704.48 million afghanis was collected, which shows a 43.37 percent increase compared to last year.
Five countries eager to invest in lithium mines in Nuristan: officials
The Islamic Emirate officials say five countries are interested in investing in the “lithium” mining sector in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province.
Mohammad Yunus Rashid, the deputy of youth in the Ministry of Information and Culture, said that Japan, the US, China, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries that are interested in investing in the mining sector of lithium mines in Nuristan province.
“There is a lot of interest in lithium mining at the global level, five countries have made contact with the Islamic Emirate and said that they are ready to invest in this sector,” said Rashid.
According to officials, there are high capacities for economic self-sufficiency in the country and positive changes will be made in the economic development of the country in the near future.
Economic experts meanwhile believe that if the extraction and processing of the country’s minerals are done in Afghanistan, the country can get out of the economic crisis very quickly.
“There are trillions of dollars of capacity in Afghanistan’s mines, which should be invested, the statistics should be accurate, the regions should be determined, in which areas we have what kind of mines,” said Kamaluddin Kakar, an economic expert.
In addition, members of the private sector say they are trying to invest jointly and individually with foreign investors in the mining sector. They call on the Islamic Emirate to hand over mining contracts to companies that have the ability to process in the country.
Customs duties on essential food items drops by up to 70%
The Ministry of Finance said that based on the decision of the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, customs duties on basic food items have dropped by between 50 and 70 percent in the last solar year.
As a result of this decision customs duties have been reduced to the value of 6.7 million afghanis this year, the ministry said.
The decision to decrease customs duties on the food items that include flour, wheat, cooking oil, rice, and sugar, was to keep the prices down on local markets.
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