22 February 2017

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Wednesday February 22, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Eklil Hakimi, Minister of Finance and Roberto Canton, Ambassador of Italy signed a grant agreement of Euro €4,000,000 to reduce maternal and child mortality in the presence of Ferozuddin Feroz, Minister of Public Health here yesterday, a statement from Ministry of Finance said.
Minister of Finance reiterated the importance of this project and thanked the Italian government and its people for their continuous support for health, education, infrastructure and security, the statement added. “This grant would be used by Ministry of Public Health in Kabul and Herat provinces to strengthen health institutes, reconstruction of surgery ward of Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital, establishing maternity wards in hospitals and providing health training programs abroad” said Ferozuddin Feroz, the Minister of Public Health. “Supporting health sector is the priority of Government of Italy and it has been years working in Kabul, Herat, Badghis provinces,’ Roberto Canton, Ambassador of Italy was quoted in the statement. He reassured of its continued assistance to Afghanistan. In addition, Government of Italy contributed in different areas for many years and is among long-term partner of Afghanistan, the statement concluded.

Wednesday February 22, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The National Procurement Commission with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on the chair held session here the other day and approved four contracts worth 270 million Afghanis, a statement from presidential press office said.
According to the statement, the contracts involved asphalting 9.5 Km of Kabul-Gardiz to Zarkhon Shahr city of Logar’s Mohammad Agha district and other necessary livelihood for the administrative office of the president. The contracts of Ministry of Telecommunication and Information and Technology on connection of the country’s 16 universities to internet services and the amendments of the contracts for maintenance of the Ministry of Defense’s power plants and generators were rejected due to high rates as well as further study and exact calculation of the amounts, the statement added. The commission also rejected the proposed contract of the Ministry of Public Works on reconstruction of the second phase of Kama-Barkash Kot road of Nangarhar province, and the ministry was tasked to represent the proposal considering the restricted tendering procedures. The commission was attended by the Second Vice-President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Ministers of Finance, Economy, Justice, senior advisor to president on infrastructures, officials of the national procurement authority, SIGAR observers, Mishrano Jirga’s commission of telecommunication and PACC representatives, the statement concluded.

Tuesday February 21, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The ministry of public works has announced that it has activated an internet system to mobilize and monitor construction projects, amid growing complaints by the people about poorly built roads in the country’s capital.
Mahmoud Baligh, the minister of public works said that his ministry has launched the internet system to monitor the projects related to the ministry and help the people get access to information about the launched projects’ related problems, budget, procurements affairs, expenditures, contracts related biddings etc. He said the system would help work process be implemented successfully and added that the main aim of the ministry was to have precise information about the developments of the projects and the problems related to them each day. “Human sources and procurement systems would also be made online.” “The system had been activated within six months and right now, 1100 big and small projects are now covered by online system,” said the minister adding connecting districts with each other, through launching new road building projects, creation of railway and other transportation affairs are the responsibility of the ministry. The ministry of public works has earlier said it wanted to build hundreds of thousands of kilometers of roads all over the country, and that work on some of the has been started.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan Transparency Watch has blamed Afghanistan ministry of public works to fail to implement the projects well and transparently. Sayed Ikram Afzali head of the foundation praised the step taken by the government to create the online monitoring system to oversee the progress of the road buildings, but asked the government to appoint honest staffs to transparently monitor the projects.
He said the system would help transparency restored in the projects’ works process and corruption eliminated as well the culture of trusteeship institutionalized and those failing to implement their responsibility well, should be introduced to the government. Using low-quality substances in the road building projects, lack of transparency in the contracts, time consuming development projects have been among those problems, consecutively complained about. The foundation head, however sees in doubt if the system could completely prevent corruption, but said this could do something effective, rather to be deprived of. The ministry of public works said the system would also help trucks transportation to be controlled to highly prevent corruption. A university teacher, Ustad Massoud praised the move by the ministry said the system would help partially prevent corruption and restore transparency in the related affairs. But he asked the government to appoint honest individuals to fully carry out the process and the projects implemented well. “Since the last long, we see many of the uplift projects including road building launched out of quality, by some companies. They are not launching their quality works on the projects,” said Massoud who asked the government to sign contract with those honest companies, otherwise these companies would embezzle the funds and leave the projects semi-launched.
Ustad Sayhoon, an economic expert also said undoubtedly, the system could help monitor the projects well and corruption in the implementation process prevented, but the government should appoint eligible individuals in the process. The monitoring team should also do its best to monitor the projects comprehensively, as the people of Afghanistan want to see high quality built roads in the future. The goal could be secured through signing contracts with the strong construction companies which can provide high quality road building substances. Kabul citizens also complained about poorly built roads in the capital. Mohammad Nayem believed the work launched by some companies were out of quality, resulting in destruction of the roads in few days or months. Earlier the Kabul municipality has said it would sign contracts with valid and highly experienced construction companies.  The online system to monitor the projects is for the first time activated by the government in the country and hoped to the government to have successful in its goal.
Shukria Kohistani

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Based on Khan Mohammad Baz’ head of currency exchangers in Kabul, Shahzada market report the exchange rate of Afghani as a follow:
One Dollar                           67/40afgs                                  
One Pound Sterling              83/80 afgs                              
One Euro                               71/40 afgs                                   
One Emirate’s Dirham          18/35 afgs                              
One Thousand Pakistani Rupees 623afgs       
One Thousand Indian Rupees     1025 afgs               
One Thousand Iranian Rupees   17/40 afgs                         

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