30 March 2020

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Economic

Thursday March 26, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a video conference has directed deputy ministers of defense, interior and finance that effective savings in security sector should be implemented within two years rather than three years.
In the video conference held yesterday, deputy ministers of the respective ministries reported the country’s President about saving of $300 million in defense and security sector through reforms and prevention of unnecessary and ineffective expenditures in the past one year.
Assuring of the continued assistance of the international community to ANDSF, President Ghani instructed deputy ministers of the respective ministries to save $1billion in the security and defense sector within coming one year while maintaining quality services to the security forces be observed.
The country’s President stressed that saving and prevention from unnecessary expenditures in all levels of the government was a principal step towards reaching a self-sufficient Afghanistan, directing deputy ministers to prepare their plans in light of which the two-years saving program were implemented.
President Ghani also instructed Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Services Commission to prepare and implement a saving plan in Afghanistan civil services system.
In his addressing to the nation the other day, the country’s President said that due to reduction in international aid to Afghanistan, particular programs would be taken in hand to fill the gap of the assistance, adding that reduction of the assistance would not have negative impacts on key government sectors.

Monday, March 23, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Almost two weeks have passed since Afghan aviation companies announced a near-total shutdown of international flights, but some foreign companies are still flying in and out of Afghanistan.
According to the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA), Afghan domestic companies Ariana Airlines and Kam Air now only have flights from Dubai and Pakistan. And Pakistan has also imposed restrictions on the transit of goods flown in from Afghan airline companies, said ACAA.
But the head of the authority, Mohammad Qasim Wafaeezada, said foreign airline companies, primarily those based in the UAE, are conducting their flights to Kabul from the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Islamabad. But the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority recently announced that it will ban flights by Iran’s Mahan Air because of the coronavirus and flights by other companies to Iran have not been banned. Wafaeezadad said that domestic flights are normal.
“Restrictions were imposed on flights due to the coronavirus and required all flights to have credible health certificates,” Wafazeezada said, referring to the ban on Afghan airliners, including Kam Air and Ariana Airlines, by foreign countries.
The Ariana Afghan Airlines saying that have taken some precautionary measures to provide a safe environment for its passengers travelling to different provinces and abroad.
India’s External Affairs Ministry in a statement on March 19 said “no scheduled commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to land in India from March 22 for one week.”
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) based Emirates Airlines on Saturday suspended its flights to several destinations including capital Kabul due to the spike in the outbreak of Covid-19.
“In response to the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak around the world, Emirates is taking extra steps that go above and beyond industry and regulatory requirements to ensure our customers’ health and comfort, and provide you with confidence when planning your travel,” Airline said on its website.
“Several countries have imposed travel and immigration restrictions due to COVID-19. All customers are requested to check relevant travel advisories from and to the countries to which they are traveling.”
“This is a dynamic situation and it is the responsibility of the customer to ensure there are no entry restrictions at their travel destination. IATA Travel Centre provides a list of travel advisories relating to COVID-19.”
The Airline has suspended flights to several destinations across the world that include Kabul City till June 30.

Sunday, March 15, 2020
Kabul (BNA)
Kabul (BNA) Based on Union of money exchangers in Sari Shahzada, Kabul city, the exchange rate of Afghani as a follow:
                                                                           
One Dollar                                                         76/10        Afs
One Pound Sterling                                            92       Afs
One Euro                                                            83/40       Afs
One Emirate’s Dirham                                       20/20       Afs
One Thousand Pakistani Rupees                        485       Afs
One Thousand Indian Rupees                            1010       Afs
One Thousand Iranian Rupees                            05Afs

Saturday, March 14, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the first meeting of High Economy Council was held at Presidential Palace with participation of the first Vice President Amrullah Salih, 2nd Vice President Sarwar Danesh, Special Envoy to President on trade, economic and reduction of poverty Mohammad Yousef Ghazanfar, cabinet members and representatives of private sector. In the meeting, prepara- tions and measures for possible coronavirus outbreak were discussed. President Ghani asked representatives of Afghanistan chambers of commerce industries, traders and investors to seriously take the issue of the virus and take necessary preparations for the production and importing high quality medicines, food and fuel, adding that the govern- ment was ready to support private sector in importing of high- quality food and medicines. Representatives of private sector and chambers of commerce and industries also said that they have taken the threat of coronavirus as serious and spoken with traders about the issue across the country, adding that practical stems would be taken in this regard. They also said that the government should identify needs and primary steps and consider referral tariffs for Afghan traders. In the meeting, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani instructed Mohammad Yousef Ghazanfer and acting director of administrative affairs of the presidential office to hold a video conference with traders and investors across the country to discuss their problems, possible measures, providing first aid for possible coronavirus outbreak in the country. The country’s President also said that facility of investment for investors have been provided in urban sector and the government was ready to provide them government land for construction of towers. Stressing on building capacity in private sector, President Ghani said the government of Afghanistan has been able to create better trade relations with central Asian countries in the past five years, but the country’s private sector has not shown necessary preparations in this regard.

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