President Ghani fails to deliver his pre-poll pledges
President Ashraf Ghani’s motto before elections was a comprehensive economic reform strategy for the nation aimed at alleviating poverty and boosting employment.
Afghanistan is presently facing an unemployment rate of 40%, which is much higher compared to 25% before the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG).
A number of economic analysts have slammed President Ghani’s administration for failing to fulfill its pre-poll pledges.
The past few months Afghanistan saw a high exodus of young Afghans to Europe in search of a better life.
The following promises concerning the economic sector were made by President Ghani during his campaign.
- Asphalt a two-lane road from Kandahar to Uruzgan provinces.
- Create offices for responsible city planning to handle the rapid growth of Afghanistan’s cities, with a priority given to Kabul
- Create a secure environment for the construction Salma Dam in Herat Province.
- Develop and enforce women-friendly labor laws and employment policies in both the government and private sector.
- Universities will be turned into state-owned enterprises to generate income.
- Establish official custom offices in all the border provinces to legally handle transit and prevent smuggling.
- Each province will be a given specific budget as part of the regular budget that is sent to the national assembly.
- Reform the budget schedules so that the national regular budget is set for a two-year cycle and the development budget is for five years.
- Work with each production sector to set standards in complete transparency to improve the quality of Afghan goods.
- Set up a special office to register new entrepreneurial ventures or inventions so that the rights of entrepreneurs are protected and can be turned into a source of wealth generation.
- Ensure that a minimum of 25% of businesses be female-owned in all National Industrial Parks already in use or soon-to-be established.
- Promote cotton cultivation and export in Helmand Province
- Complete the Herat-Iran railroad.
- Repair the Nangarhar Canal and keep water from flowing into the deserts
- Develop gas resources in Jawzjan Province.
- Complete a railroad from Spin Boldak to the rest of Kandahar Province.
- Construct dams including Machalgho Dam in Paktia.
- Upgrade Khost Airport into an International Airport.
- Connect northern provinces to southern provinces via Bamyan Highway.
- Asphalt the Ghulam Khan Road in Khost Province.
- Build Gardan Deward highway between Kabul and Herat through Bamyan.
- Repair the Kajaki Dam in Helmand.
- Launch projects for marketing alternative crops to Poppy.
- Improve agricultural water management and irrigation.
- Limit Afghans investments in Gulf countries.
- Create storage for food grains.
- Decrease unemployment rate
- Give loans to farmers.
- Take steps to eliminate homelessness during 5-year term.
- Create a secure environment for private investment and take steps to encourage investment.
- Launch a program to train unskilled workers with courses lasting 6 weeks to 6 months.
Ghani’s plans to rework Afghanistan’s free-falling economy are faced with overwhelming challenges like corruption, insecurity and lack of infrastructure.
The strategy to deal with these challenges are outlined in the 2014 report, “Realizing Self-Reliance”, which is prepared by the London Conference on Afghanistan.
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