23 January 2018

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Economic

Saturday, January, 6, 2018

Kabul (BNA) President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, while inaugurating the 220-kilowatt imported electricity to the two southern provinces of Ghazni and Maidan-Wardak said, his main goal was to establish a single electricity network and help the country obtain self-sufficiency in this area, his office said in a statement Friday.
The president, first directed the chairman of Da Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (DABS) – Afghanistan’s main power supply company to provide treatment for Eng. Jamshid who was injured during the implementation of the project and appreciate him along with his other colleagues and workers who contributed in the project completion.
The president said today was really a day of light, when the houses of the people in the two are enlightened, the statement added.
The president congratulated the people of the two provinces for receiving power energy and said a long awaiting demand of two provinces’ people was met, the statement quoted.
“Eleven provinces of the country including Ghazni and Badghis, where the people pay double or four times higher in power bills would be paid serious attention,” said President Ghani adding it was part of the national program to provide balanced electricity services to all the people of the country.
He, likewise, thanked DABS, Ministry of Energy and Water, Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Finance for their effort to fundamentally change the electricity plan.
The president went on as saying that Ghazni and Maidan Wardak provinces benefited the electricity today, Logar, Paktia, Nangarhar, Kunar, Bamyan and the whole country would have access to such a service in the future, under this plan. “We would witness further development in the sector of energy.” “Current electricity plan would help us produce our own electricity besides having it imported from foreign countries,” the country’s president assured. According to him, the government first goal was to have a single electricity network and secondly to have a self-sustained Afghanistan in the area of electricity besides the transition of 15,000 megawatts of electricity from central Asia to south Asia. The third goal, he said was the provinces that cannot access to electricity should be provided with solar generated energy.
The president said that Sheberghan and Mazar-I-Sharif cities were provided with 90 megawatts of gas generated power with the private sector investment, and said the plan would positively impact the northern part of the country.
The president also said: “Water is our dignity and we should protect it, the DABS and our sectorial ministers should not be responsible for social dimensions,” he said.
Amanullah Ghaleb, head of the DABS, also spoke about the extension of power to two provinces and said the project included two phases, first extension of 220 kilowatt along the way from Arghendi to Ghazni with the total cost of more than $59 million and the second phase costing $47.6 million cooperated by the US Development Bank.
 

Thursday January 4, 2018

Kabul (BNA) Wahidullah Noshehr, the first deputy to Da Afghanistan Bank said the main aim of the bank is to keep the foreign currencies’ rate unchanged. Trade deficiency is a big challenge in Afghanistan, he said, adding if we take a look to figures, we would see 5.1 billion of USD trade deficiency.  There are difference between out import and exports, as our exports are less them imports—a move which is not a short-term challenge but would take long to be solved, he went on to say.
The reason behind this related to the government expenditures as the ministry of finance has recently declared that it had spent 67% of its development budget. When such an amount is spent, a huge amount of money would add in tax which would pressure Afghani currency.
Likewise, when the Iranian and Pakistani currencies have lost value in world market, some people tried to change their monies into US dollar—an action caused to rise US dollar price against Afghani.
Another reason is that four currencies are running in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, US and Afghani currencies which faced Da Afghanistan Bank with a big challenge.
In 1396, Da Afghanistan Bank had sold $1947mln, Noshehr said.  On keeping the currencies rates unchanged, he said not only Da Afghanistan Bank but all banks throughout the country have always made efforts to control the currencies’ fluctuations.
Currently, there are 15 banks operational in the country, 3 of which are state-run, three are foreign banks and the rest are the domestic banks and one of the responsibilities of Da Afghanistan Bank is to control all of them.
Unfortunately, over the last years, investment in the country has faced strong challenges, amid growing insecurities and political instabilities—a move heavily affected Afghani currency.
Investors, because of disappointment over poor security and more possibly failure for a positive turnover, are not now sure to remain investing in Afghanistan and most importantly, they have ignored to resist investing under harsh status quo.  As any country’s currency is the incredible bankroll of its products, because each item from domestic products could be dealt at each currency, through which the flight of currency can be prevented. But, Afghanistan, at the biggest level, lacked domestic products, which had affected its currency.
Unsureness towards a stable future has accelerated the Afghani currency, because US dollar has been counted on, as the core mean of caution and hoarding, exchange and business, and the high ranking officials receiving super skill salaries, while the low-ranking employees with low wage are dealing difficultly with their lives. Some people are hoarding up dollars for their future difficult days, while the staffs of other private institutions are receiving salaries in dollars, something can critically affect Afghani rate and accelerate poverty and economic crisis and badly worsened the people’s situation.
Shukria Kohistani
 

Thursday January 4, 2018

Kabul (BNA) fuel and gas prices in the city’s markets are different, and people are dissatisfied with this situation.
Ehsanullah a Taxi driver in the connection said that the price of oil, especially the fuel, is sold at different prices to the public. “I do not know whether the government is aware of this situation or not.
The Taxi drivers expressing concerned over different rates of fuel and ask the government to intervene in the market and take control of the market in its hand.
Although, the government has fallen down the tax rate on oil, but unfortunately we don’t know why the tank owners still sell it to us at a high price, Qadir another taxi driver stated.  Today, a liter of petrol is being sold against 46 Afghanis in Kabul markets, so they want that the price should be reduced to 35 Afghanis. 
Currently, the price of a liter of diesel is 44 afs., despite reduce in tax rate, but, unfortunately, the government still has not been able to reconsider about the prices.
The Afghan traders in this regard said that the rise in the oil prices in Afghanistan caused by high oil prices in the international markets.
In winter season the prices of other fuels also have been increased two-fold, where one kilo of gas is being sold against 65 Afghani and 560kg of wood is about 8000 Afghani in the markets.
Nawid, a Kabul resident said that although the government has repeatedly promised about making efforts to decrease fuel prices, but unfortunately still, the people are buying fuel at high prices and no change has been made in the connection.
At the same time, a new law on oil and gas will be approved by the Cabinet in near future and by implementing this law the prices would be controlled in domestic markets.
According to head of oil and gas enterprise, Tamim Walid there is more than 100 million metric tons of reserved oil, which would be used in emergency state.
It is planned to create gas reserves in Islam Qala, Nimroz and Farah. In this case, the oil and gas directorate will have development plans that will provide better services to the people, Walid asserted.
The main challenge of this organization is the lack of oil and gas law, which unfortunately, enterprises are operating like the sixth finger in the economic sector, and its laws for the past 20 years have not been changed, and it is an old system. The agency is making effort to resume this law, Walid went on to say.
However, this organization has some achievements like naming of all tanks of oil, which currently has 3200 tanks of oil across Afghanistan, which is considered as a major economic industry as well and all tanks are registered in our database. In the new program of this enterprise all tanks will operate under the umbrella of a private sector on a single market. There are 114 government oil tanks operating as well 340 tanks in Kabul and another 3200 tanks across the country.
Shukria Kohistan
 

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

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                                               69/70 Afs                           
One Pound Sterling                                 93/20 Afs                           
One Euro                                                83/20 Afs                           
One Emirate’s Dirham                           18/90 Afs                           
One Thousand Pakistani Rupees              627 Afs                           
One Thousand Indian Rupees                1080 Afs                                         
One Thousand Iranian Rupees              16/50 Afs                           
 

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