23 February 2017

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Saturday, February 04, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Minister of Finance Eklil Hakimi and Kabul-based Italian Ambassador Roberto Canton signed Herat-Chasht e Sharif road construction contract in the presence of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Wednesday February 1st, a statement from presidential press office said, adding the road is 155 KM long and a part of East-West Corridor Project.
According to the statement, the contract was signed in a ceremony organized on Wednesday afternoon in the Presidential Palace, adding Minister of Public Works Mahmood Baleegh spoke related to economic importance of the road, saying that the 155KM long road goes towards Obai district and that the Salma Dam and marble mine of Chasht-e-Sharif are located along the route.  He said that the road will provide economic and transportation facilities to people.
The Minister further said that the road is a part of East-West Corridor Project which connects Herat with Kabul through the central provinces. He added that as soon as the survey is completed, different companies will be contracted for each 30 KMs of construction.
Expressing delight over construction of the road, the Italian Ambassador said that the Government of Italy is happy to finance this project with Euro 92 Million which will play a role in development of Afghanistan. He added that Italy is committed to aiding Afghanistan in regional connectivity through implementation of such huge projects, the statement added.
Stating support to the Afghan Government on behalf of his country, Roberto promised to help in construction of a new terminal for Herat Airport.
Governor of Herat province Mohammad Asif Rahimi thanked the President for sticking to his pledges with people of Herat, adding for the last 5 years unfulfilled promises were made for construction of this road and resultantly the people became hopeless, but this desire has been met today.
The East-West Corridor Project is 720 KM long, prioritized by Government of Afghanistan which directly contributes to economic development, connectivity and alleviating poverty. Construction of this corridor whose initial assessment and procurement plan have been completed but design and survey are underway, which will take 3 years, the statement concluded.

Wednesday February 1, 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                                               66/85 afgs                           
One Pound Sterling                                 83/50 afgs                         
One Euro                                                 71/50 afgs                        
One Emirate’s Dirham                            18/13 afgs                          
One Thousand Pakistani Rupees                614 afgs                        
One Thousand Indian Rupees                  1027 afgs             
One Thousand Iranian Rupees                17/17 afgs  

Tuesday January 31, 2017 Kabul (BNA) The High Economic Council (HEC) with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on the chair held session here the other day and discussed different issues, including ministries’ performances in line with endorsement of the council, investment on carpet industry, women’s economic empowerment, assigning of a specific place for dried fruit market and Singapore training programs for government employees, a statement said. According to presidential press office, at the outset a report was presented on ministries’ performances in line with decisions of the high economic council, adding the president instructed the line ministries to prepare their report of performances based on the council’s decisions within one week. Afterward, the draft on establishment of Afghanistan’s handmade carpet factory was presented by Eng. Sayed Abbas, one of the country’s businessmen, adding transformation of the traditional way of carpet weaving into modern one, employment, increase in production, exportation of Afghan carpet and training of the people in line with carpet weaving make the main goals of the draft. Eng. Sayed Abbas went on saying the factory would create job opportunities to 6000 women and around 2100 carpet weaving centers would be established. According to him, Afghanistan’s Rug and Carpet center with already purchased machinery intends to invest 3 million USD to establish the first Afghan handmade carpet weaving factory at the total areas of 32 acres of land in Kabul industrial park. Hinting on importance of the carpet industry, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said government supports the draft, adding the environment issue needs to be also considered. Meanwhile, pointing to establishing of the carpet exhibition and market, the first deputy to chief executive Eng. Mohammad Khan called for urgent attention to carpet industry, adding Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Commence could ease the process. Minister of Commerce Homayoun Rassa told the session that the ministry has closely worked with the said company, adding 1500 samples of the carpet need to be purchased so that to attract exporters and find market for the Afghan carpet. He said the aim behind the draft is to institutionalize the traditional Afghan carpet. Qudratullah Delawari head of the Breshna Sherkat said the Afghan carpet is famous for its handmade style, adding industrial machinery would affect its identity. Hinting to importance of Afghan carpet and investment in this sector, President Ghani said samples of Afghan carpet should be purchased and exhibited in one of the presidential palace’s towers for domestic and foreign guests, adding would instruct the administrative office of the president to fulfill the government institutions’ need through purchasing the Afghan carpet and the Afghan mission abroad would also be tasked to ease holding of Afghan carpet exhibition. The president emphasized that the carpet colors should be Afghan origin, adding children shouldn’t be recruited and alternatives need to be searched for. The president also said that government doesn’t have proper marketing experiences, asking the private sector to play its key role in the said sector. Later, the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyred and Disabled presented a draft on women’s economic empowerment. Minister Nasrin Oriakhel said, the draft has been prepared in line with government’s vision, adding it aims to promote gender equality during the recruitment process. She also said that implementation of the draft would further bolster the coordination among the ministries. The draft includes, removing of legal barriers before women and their active role in economic activities, education, business administration, access to financial resources, improvement of agricultural situation and women’s access to markets. Senior presidential advisor Ahmad Nader Naderi called the draft one of the bests, adding the draft has further focused on women’s capacity building. Meanwhile, the Second Vice-President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh said some of lookalike drafts have already been implemented in the ministries, adding the repeated drafts should be prevented, as according to him the Ministry of Women Affairs implementing such projects. The Minister of Economy said the disabled women should be included in the draft and further efforts should be made for public awareness on women’s rights. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said this is national program and needs further coordination and the works should be divided between the ministries. He also said that governance in term of women needs to be changed, adding women with their documents on hand, including NIC, documents related to marriage and divorce could open bank accounts. The draft has been principally approved by the session. According to the statement, the session discussed establishment of a market for dried fruit, adding the session decided that a draft to be prepared on the aspect, so that a locality to be specified for it. The session also discussed training programs in Singapore, with the president saying those who have the capability of learning the skills should be introduced.
Tuesday January 31, 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 66/83 afgs One Pound Sterling 82/20 afgs One Euro 71/20 afgs One Emirate’s Dirham 18/10 afgs One Thousand Pakistani Rupees 615 afgs One Thousand Indian Rupees 1025 afgs One Thousand Iranian Rupees 17/20 afgs
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