World Bank report finds Afghan revenue collection strong
The World Bank on Wednesday published its latest report on Afghanistan’s economy and painted a slightly positive picture – stating that in the first nine months of the fiscal year 2022, exports were good, the exchange rate was stable and the Islamic Emirate’s revenue collection had been strong.
The World Bank stated that inflationary pressure in Afghanistan has eased since July of last year, decelerating by half to 9.1 % in November, while most basic food and non-food items are still widely available. The report stated the decline in inflation was due to lower global oil and food prices, along with a stable exchange rate.
The bank stated that Afghanistan exported $1.7 billion worth of goods during this time, an increase of approximately 90% compared to the full year 2021.
The report noted that January to June 2022 data shows the country imported $2.9 billion of goods.
In addition, the report stated that revenue collection had remained strong, reaching $1.54 billion between March and December 2022, in line with 2020 results.
A major chunk of the revenues came from taxes collected at borders and non-tax sources while a rise in coal mining royalties and fees were likely the drivers of the increase in revenue, the report found.
The report also noted that most government workers in Afghanistan have received salaries regularly and that their main problem was the lack of cash in banks when withdrawing their salaries.
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.
Kunduz commerce department’s revenues rise by 48%
Kunduz Directorate of Industry and Commerce officials say their revenues have increased by 48 percent this solar year.
According to officials, the institution has collected more than 12 million Afghanis from the extension and distribution of licenses to manufacturing companies.
Mohammad Rahim Sirat, head of Kunduz Directorate of Industry and Commerce, said they distributed licenses to 112 people and renewed the licenses for 303 people.
Meanwhile, Kunduz Municipality officials also announced that they have collected 120 million Afghanis in 11 months of the current solar year, which shows a 40 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
Tajuddin Sohak, the spokesman for Kunduz Municipality, said they collected 120 million Afghanis this year, which shows a 40 percent increase from 86 million afghanis last year.
But shopkeepers and owners of manufacturing companies in Kunduz complain about the lack of a market for their products. They say that in the past their goods used to be exported abroad, but now exports have declined.
“In the past, we used to export to Iran, Pakistan, and Iraq, but our exports have decreased compared to the past. We ask the government to cooperate with us to provide the basis for export,” Wasim Akram, an entrepreneur, said.
Local officials in Kunduz say they have always tried to facilitate trade. They express hope that in the new year their efforts for foreign marketing of manufacturing companies will produce good results.
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