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TAPI To Boost Afghanistan’s Bankrupted Economy

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Tuesday December 15, 2015

Kabul (BNA) The leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India officially opened the TAPI gas transmission pipe line project.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan, Nawaz Sharif Prime Minister of Pakistan and Indian vice president Mohammad Hamid Ansari opened this project in a special ceremony in Mary region, southeast of Turkmen gas field. The 1841 km long pipeline project will be constructed 200 km in Turkmenistan, 735 km in Afghanistan, 800 km in Pakistan and will be extended to Fazelka of Indian border and is expected to send 33 billion cubic meter gas annually via Afghanistan and Pakistan to India. As the biggest regional economic project, the project will cost over US$ 10b and would provide job opportunities for 7000 people in Afghanistan. The central Asia countries are rich with huge oil gas resources while the South Asian countries like Indian and Pakistan are in urgent need of energy and gas. The heart of Asia countries have not managed to properly exploit their transit capacities. India and Pakistan need new markets for exports and sale of their products as Afghanistan is a suitable route to connect these two countries to central Asia markets.
Security challenges:
Despite the creation of huge income for the regional countries, the practical implementation of TAPI gas pipeline could be affected with biggest challenges due to influence of terrorist-extremists groups in in the country. Afghanistan has decided to employee over 4000 ANSF to provide security of this pipeline inside its borders. Implementation of TAPI project could be an opportunity for improvement of regional security. Because the countries who at present support insurgents and terrorists in Afghanistan, changed their policies and preferred economic improvement. TAPI project has high importance for Afghanistan as it connects South and Central Asia countries. Pakistan requirements would cause to prevent sabotage of this project.
Economic development:
Due to creation of multi-million dollar revenues and providing of employment opportunities for thousands of people, it plays effective role for economic development in Afghanistan. Increase of national income and reduction of budget deficit in one hand and encouragement of domestic demand due to this income on the other, are factors that could be useful in rapid economic development. Afghanistan and Pakistan would both get multi-million US$ transit duties from TAPI. Afghanistan is astonishingly dependent on foreign aids and implementation of TAPI project could be an important step towards economic self-sufficiency and reduction of its financial dependence to others specially the western countries. Therefore increase of national income, improvement of economic self-sufficiency and reduction of public budget deficit through implementation of TAPI project can be potentially possible that eventually cause our national economic development. The TAPI project can be effective in convergence of economic interests of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in one hand and towards security, political convergence among those three regional nations on the other.
Lailuma Noori                    
 

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