24 August 2017

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Wednesday August 23, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Presided over by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the high economic council session was held Monday evening at presidential palace.
In the session, short and long-term plan related to collecting transportation and municipalities’ taxes through one address in capital and provinces as well as execution report of Asan-Khedmat authority and plan for issuing electronic system of driving and road permits were discussed. First, the short and long-term plan in connection with collecting transportation and municipalities’ taxes was delivered to the session by deputy minister of incomes and customhouses for finance. He said that the plan has been prepared and organized for improvement of collecting system of transport incomes in coordination and agreement with ministries of transport, public works, independent directorate of local organs, Kabul municipality, chambers of commerce and industries, private sector and all other relevant organs. He added that ways of short, mid and long-term solutions have been also predicted in the respective plan.
Representing the country’s private sector, deputy of Afghanistan chambers of commerce and industries Khanjan Alokozay by welcoming the plan said it was the first plan prepared by the government during the past 15 years, suggesting that collecting incomes should be divided into three categories and asked ministry of transport to deliver services in this regard. Acting minister of public works Yama Yari said that it was good that all scales should be activated and controlled by ministry of finance. Related to roads, he said that ministry of public works was working on a plan for protection, maintenance and safety of roads. In the session, minister of finance spoke related to the issue and said that the plan has been prepared within six months and its consequences would be changeable after the plan reviewed and tested.
The country’s President asserted that the respective plan stressed on short-term steps and it was necessary that the plans should be mid and long-term, instructing acting ministers of public works and transport to work on short-term plans in coordination with private sector. President Ghani further said that scales should be transferred to customhouses and security section of finance ministry should be strengthened, adding that scales have been monopolized and suggested two plans: first exemption from fees for one year and the other would be mobile fines. The country’s President stressed that in connection with taking fees from the people services should be delivered and related to transportation fees for raw material in the country should be exempted. In other part of the session, report related to execution of Asan Khedmat Authority and plan for issuing electronic driving license and road permit delivered by acting minister of telecommunication and information technology were discussed.
Acting minister of telecommunication and information technology Shahzad Aroubi said that based on the plan, bureaucracy in all working sections such as distribution and renewing road permit, driving license, issuing plates, incidents and buying and selling vehicles would be ended. The country’s President while praising Asan Khedmat Authority said that future of the organ would depend to ministry of telecommunication and information technology and stressed on further discussions in this regard, adding that experts team from relevant institutions including a number of lecturers of Kabul Polytechnic University should conduct a clear analysis in this regard and find proper alternatives. At the end of the session, in presence of EU Special Representative to Afghanistan Francis Michael Mellbin and a number of other EU ambassador Franz-Michael Mellbin, EU 100 million euro assistance was announced for improvement of development policies, protection of economic stability, better management of public finance and strengthening of transparency in budget of Afghanistan government.

Tuesday, August 22, 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                                            68/90 afs                           
One Pound Sterling                              88/20 afs                           
One Euro                                              80/90 afs                           
One Emirate’s Dirham                         18/70 afs                           
One Thousand Pakistani Rupees          643 afs                           
One Thousand Indian Rupees               1070 afs                                         
One Thousand Iranian Rupees              18 afs                           

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Officials for Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) have informed of a new plan and launching solar power project in Kabul city. According to the new plan, solar power equipment will be installed on roofs of residential houses and ministries.
“Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat has designed a project which will help government institutions and residents of a part of Kabul city to use solar power instead of imported electricity”, the officials added.
The DABS officials further said the company would help customers to install the equipment on their houses or offices, adding that the plan is a mid-term solution for electricity shortage in Kabul.
Amanullah Ghalib, head of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) told media, “The Asian Development Bank has promised to fund the project and our company will provide 50 percent of the solar system expenses to its customers if ADB delivers its promise in this regard.”
We are going to implement the plan and if God is willing it will be implemented in ministries by the end of this year or the next year,” Ghalib said.
Meanwhile, a number of Kabul residents have welcomed the plan and told The Kabul Times correspondent that electricity shortage and load-shedding was a major problem for them, asking the government to implement long-term programs to address electricity shortage in Kabul.
“We have lots of problems as all electricity equipment becomes inactivated when there is no electricity. If solar power equipment is installed, it will help us to use all electricity equipment including refrigerator,” said Ahmad, a resident of Kabul.
“Many parts of Charah-e-Qamber area in Kabul have little or no electricity. We must have full access to electricity to address our problems. Sometimes we make use of generators to have electricity,” another Kabul resident, Yama said.
The project will be implemented in two phases: The first phase, which will be completed by the end of the next year, will cover ministries and other government institutions and will produce up to 15 megawatts of power. And the second phase will cover the DABS customers across Kabul city.
It is said that lack of electricity has remained as one of key challenges in recent years although electricity has become better in Kabul and a number of the country’s provinces; but it is needed to electricity load-shedding is ended.
The plan for installation of solar power equipment and use of the power can help the people to have satisfactory electricity and will be effective not only for ministries but also residential houses in Kabul.
It is worth mentioning that Afghanistan is among countries which have much solar energy and the people can address electricity shortage by installation of solar power equipment in all seasons as currently a number of ministries and residential houses use solar energy in the country.
Shukria Kohistani

Tuesday August 22, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the National Procurement Commission (NPC) held meeting the other day, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.
The meeting approved the contract on first and second phase of Qaisar-Laman ring road lengths 82km worth 6billion Afghani, the statement further said. Qaisar-Laman ring road located in Badghis province is one of the most important regional connection highways in the country, the statement added. The president instructed the ministry of public benefits to pay attention in supervision of the first and second phase of the project, the statement continued. Furthermore, the NPC approved the contract on the country’s Space Management Consultative Services and the independent administration of civil aviation has been stressed to train Afghan cadres through the project so the responsibility to be handed over to own Afghans in the future.
Besides the contract on internet package (Bandwidth) of the Afghan Telecom Company and hike of price in oil contract of the ministry for defense were also endorsed during the meeting.  The meeting was attended by Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh, ministers of finance and justice, acting minister of economy, the NPC’s in-charges, SIGAR, SISTIKA and Afghanistan’s transparency watchdog observers, the statement concluded.

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