23 February 2019

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Economic

Thursday February 7, 2019
Kabul (BNA) Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, Acting Minister of Finance and Chief Advisor on Infrastructure and Technology to the President of Afghanistan, and Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan, today signed a new financial package totaling $325 million in grants.
“The financing Agreement of the three project signed today with the World Bank, totally worth $ 325 million. It will be implemented in line with the requirements and priorities of the government and the people of Afghanistan to support economic empowerment, service delivery and institutional reforms,” said, acting Finance Minister Humayon Qayoumi, Speaking about the new financing package.
“The new financial package includes $200 million grant to the Eshteghal Zaiee - Karmondena (EZ-Kar) Project, $50 million grant to the Cities Investment Program (CIP) and $75 million grant to finance the Tackling Afghanistan’s Government HRM (Human Resource Management) and Institutional Reforms (TAGHIR). I acknowledge the valuable contribution made by the World Bank to fund these major projects,” he added.
The new financial package includes:
·         $200 million grant to the EshteghalZaiee - Karmondena (EZ-Kar) Project, which aims to strengthen the enabling environment for economic opportunities in Afghan cities where there is a high influx of displaced people. The grant includes $150 million from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for poorest countries; and $50 million from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), administered by the World Bank on behalf of 34 donors.
·         To improve the sustainability and livability of nine provincial capital cities by strengthening municipal capacity, management, and infrastructure. The grant comprises $25 million from IDA and $25 million from the ARTF.
·         $75 million grant to finance the Tackling Afghanistan’s Government HRM (Human Resource Management) and Institutional Reforms (TAGHIR) project,which will strengthen the capacity of selected line ministries. The grant includes $25 million from IDA and $50 million from ARTF.
“Access to job opportunities and better services is the most crucial need of Afghan people specially the returnees and internally displaced Afghans at this particular time. These new grants are significant step forward in the path to help the Government of Afghanistan strengthen its service delivery capacities and meet its key policy objectives through boosting institutional reforms, ”said Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan.

The EZ-Kar Project applies a whole of community approach and aims to increase economic and job opportunities in the cities with a high influx of returnees and internally displaced people. This will be pursued by increasing the returnees’ access to civil documents, providing short-term employment opportunities, improving market enabling infrastructure, and supporting investor friendly regulatory reforms.
The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), and Kabul Municipality. The Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR) will also play a key role. Among other initiatives, the project will support the increase in capacity of MoFA to provide consular services as well as help Afghan refugees in Pakistan access information that will facilitate their economic and social integration in Afghanistan.
The CIP will provide technical assistance to the Government in its implementation of the “Municipal Incentive Fund” under the new Municipal Law for Afghanistan and will instill a culture of “Evidence-Based” municipal investment planning in nine major provincial capital cities in the country. In parallel, the CIP will expand municipal service delivery and rehabilitate basic municipal infrastructure in the selected provincial capital cities. The project complements the ARTF-financed Kabul Municipal Development Program and the IDA-supported Urban Development Support Project.
The TAGHIR project replaces the Capacity Building for Results (CBR) Facility and will assist the Government of Afghanistan to deliver its key policy priorities through merit-based recruitment and administrative reforms in 16-lineministries. The project will support up to 1,500 new civil service positions to enable the ministries to meet objectives and deliver on their priorities. The Independent Administrative and Civil Service Reform Commission will lead the project implementation.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Based on Union of money exchangers in Sari Shahzada, Kabul city, the exchange rate of Afghani as a follow:
                                                                           
One Dollar                                                              74/95        Afs
One Pound Sterling                                            97       Afs
One Euro                                                            86/50       Afs
One Emirate’s Dirham                                       20/40       Afs
One Thousand Pakistani Rupees                           538       Afs
One Thousand Indian Rupees                              1070       Afs
One Thousand Iranian Rupees                            06/60       Afs
Yarzada
 

Tuesday February 5, 2019

Kabul (BNA) The 178th meeting of the National Procurement Commission (NPC) presided by H.E Mohammad Ashraf Ghani; the President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was held on Sunday evening; February 3rd, 2019 at the Presidential Palace.
In this session; 50 procurement cases were reviewed which resulted in approval of 48 contracts worth 157.7 Million USD which include the following:  Eight non-consultancy contracts for Basic Package of Health Service (BPHS) and Essential Package of Health Service (EPHS) in eight provinces;  Two contracts for infrastructure rehabilitation of Qala-e- Wazir in Khoshal Khan Mena (5th district) and Qala-e- Sultan; 3rd section of 13th district; related to the Kabul Municipality;  The contract for maintenance of 35 MLAT stations for taking control of Afghanistan airspace and airplanes flight check system direction and procuring of airplane technical equipment; related to the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority;  The contract for procurement of 106 items for water testing equipment of chemical laboratory; related to the Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan;  The contract for establishment of ICT center in Bamyan University; related to the Ministry of Higher Education;  The contract for procurement of 4000 boxes of 6-electrcity meters; required by Kabul-Breshana Directorate;  Two contracts for procuring of six types of oil and provision of three types of meat; required by President Protection Service General Directorate;  Four contracts for rampart and cleaning of Kabul river, rehabilitation of Bacha Khan tomb in Nangarhar Province, rehabilitation of Shahi Palace and the project for procurement of 111 cleaning items for Office of Chief of Staff for the President; related to the Operation and National Development Support Authority;  The contract for rent of complex for citizens’ charter project of deputy of municipalities; related to the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG);  Two contracts for launch of ISP network and its equipment and the contract for procurement and installation of security cameras and its equipment; related to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT);  The contract for procurement of 270,000 Liter of petrol and 120,000 Liter of diesel; required for vehicles and generators of Supreme Court;  The contract for procurement of three types of security and intelligence equipment in central and regional military entities; related to reconnaissance and intelligence directorate of chief of army staff of Ministry of Defense (MoD);  The contract for procurement of two types of fuel (Diesel and Petrol) on the basis of framework contracts; related to the Attorney General Office; However; the request for procurement of two types of dairy required for military units and regional corps of National Army in seven lots was returned by NPC, and MoD & National Procurement Authority (NPA) assigned to review the procurement of the items from production companies and provide the suitable solution in this regard. During the discussion on non-consultancy contract of Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) and Essential Package of Hospital Service (EPHS) in Herat and Nimroz Provinces were approved in principle, and NPA was assigned to review the proposed bidders in the mentioned provinces. Meanwhile; after review and discussion on the contracts; NPC approved the amendments for the following projects: - Time extension for reconstruction of road from Jani khail road to Kotal Sorkhi and Bel Khail check point; first lot with 16.25 Km gravel pavement in Paktia province related; to the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW); - Time extension for consultancy service project for monitoring of road construction from Chah Anjir to Greshk of Helmand province with 31.6 Km long related; to the MoPW; - Time extension for the reconstruction of the road with asphalt pavement from Daikondi to Shahrestan; first lot, second part; with 10.4 Km in Daikondi province related; to the MoPW. During the discussions on this project; H.E Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the President of Afghanistan emphasized on further studies on progress of MoPW projects. - Time extension for construction of Dahan Aabdara road, first phase with 10 Km gravel pavement in Maidan Wardak; related to the MoPW, - Time extension with increase in cost for the provision of bandwidth internet for 16 universities related; to MCIT; - The second extension in cost of the project for provision, installation, design & montage of the Andkhoi, Shabarghan substations with the capacity of 20/110/220 KV and development of Mazar-e-Sharif substation related; to the Da Afghanistan Brekhna Sherkat approved in principle and the company was directed to provide all the documents of the project to NPA; - Time & cost extension for procurement of five types of fresh fruits required; by logistic directorate of chief of army stafffor military corps and components of MoD; - Time & cost extension of the project for construction of the embassy complex of Afghanistan in Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan; related to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA); Subsequently; according to the agenda; the follow up report on implementation of the previous NPC instructive decisions was discussed as following projects: - The contract for consultancy service of the project for development and promote of health information center related; to the Ministry of Public Health; - The contract for reconstruction of the road from Doamanda Mangal to Qalandar; the first phase andsecond lot, with 10 Km gravel pavement in Khost province related; to MoPW, - The contract for reconstruction of the road from Gardez to Zormat district, second phase first lot, with 10 Km asphalt pavement in Paktia province related; to the MoPW; - The contract for procurement of fuel required; by Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat; - The contract for Tazkera (National ID Card) attestation service related; to MoFA was approved for one year and it was decided to reprocess its procurement procedures, and Ministry of Finance & NPA directed to review the beneficial ownership of the proposed bidder. - The contracts for provisions of equipment, maintenance, engineering and procurement of 10 types of security equipment related; to the Woasi Jirga (Lower House) secretariat; The decision of Appeal and Review Committee (ARC) for guidance of NPC pertaining the appeal of construction company related; to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) was approved by NPC. The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology requested for the NPC guidance on the procurement of 129,400 liter of fuel to keep the sites active; in Kandahar zone; which NPC decided that to fulfill their necessities, till its procurement via out sources, they can procure it in retail. The NPA request for procurement of armored vehicles required by the procurement entities was also approved by NPC. The Kabul Municipality; requested in the light of the verbal guidance of H.E the President on finalization of the procurement procedures based on World Bank procurement process & procurement law of Afghanistan, about the reconstruction of the road with 3.96 Km asphalt (The 12th lot), the Qargha link road to Kampany road through Spinkalai with 1.15 Km long , the road opposite to the 5th district to the Spinkalai square with 1.32 Km long, the road from Qargha to 5th district with 0.92 Km long, and the road from 5th district to the company road with 0.52 Km long, to Chakar Yapi construction company; which was approved by NPC. In addition; the Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) requested the guideline on lack of collaboration of Ministries of Interior & Defense; about the review of the complaints from both Ministries` officials. His Excellency; Mohammad Ashraf Ghani the President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, emphasized that all the entities, on the basis of access to information law; supposed to cooperate with IWA. The Ministry of Interior requested on the guidance of NPC on the projects which their maintenance contracts outdated on 21st December 2018, which NPC extended the project To the next three months. Meanwhile; the MoD presented the report of the review committee; regarding the complaint of Inamullah barat zoi Company; in the first phase of the project for procurement of six types of fresh fruits to NPC, and returned for further technical reviews by NPA. Consequently; the MoD requested for termination of two contracts for procurement of three types of heating items (charcoal heaters, gas heaters, and umbrella shape heaters), and termination of the contract for procurement of goods, the side services, and the proposed repairs of installations, facilities and equipment of national army, regional army corps, and central corps into seven lots on the basis of framework agreement which approved by NPC and NPA entrusted to review the bidder`s claim in this respect. In this meeting; beside the NPC members, the officials of National Procurement Authority, the national and international observers including the Finance, Budget and National Economy Commissions of the Parliament, the Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA), the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) and the Combined Security Transition Command (CSTC-A) of the Resolute Support had also participated.
 

Tuesday February 5, 2019

Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a meeting with Afghan producers urged the related organs for creation of ground-corridors beside those of many air-corridors in the country, BNA reported.
Speaking to the meeting participants, the President congratulated the businessmen and private sectors representatives for having their desires met in the areas of exports, transit and transport and thanked the related countries’ ambassadors and called them good partners. The President said Afghanistan shouldn’t be relied on foreign aids in long-term, as the air-corridors can play key role in the field of Afghanistan self-sufficiency. He thanked the countries’ benevolent cooperation with Afghanistan over the last 17 years. “The international aids to Afghanistan is not felt as effective as exports of pine nuts in the pine nuts producing districts,” said the President emphasizing on ensuring relation between the private sectors, producers and the international markets. He also said that big pine nuts processing factories would be established in the near future in Kabul and called for strengthening women role in production, processing and packaging pine nuts in the country and added that beside air-corridors, ground corridors should also be paid attention.
 

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