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Tweaking policies to push Afghan trade agenda

in Afghan Business

Tweaking policies to push Afghan trade agenda

 To push Afghanistan’s economic agenda, several national-level trade bodies urge the government to introduce a series of policies — including levying taxes on imports to formation of an independent authority for industrial parks’ development.

Besides, they also want to showcase Afghanistan’s industrial products at foreign exhibitions, creation of a main centre for public services – aimed at enhancing services to the people — and organising national conferences.

These draft proposals, jointly prepared by the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA), Afghanistan industrialists union and private investors, were submitted to the Ministry of Finance on Sunday, Nasim Akbar, AISA acting head, told a news conference in Kabul.

He described corruption as a key challenge faced by the people and the current administration, saying the menace had damaged the country’s image on international arena and raised questions on the country’s political and economic stability.
Evaluations revealed primary reasons for endemic corruption were the lack of an effective system and procedures to carry out in-time services, he said.

Government departments issuing licences, vehicle number plates and passports were rife with graft, with no proper auditing mechanism in place at customs offices, he said, adding the continuation of an old system delayed services to the masses.

He said they had suggested in the drafts that vehicle number plates, identity cards, passports, commercial and other licences be distributed through the proposed public services centre that should include line ministries representatives.

About the creation of an independent authority for the development of industrial parks, he said it was aimed at ensuring transparency in distribution and creation of industrial parks in the country.

Akbar said industrialists had called for a meeting with government officials of various departments, civil society representatives and foreign institutes to discuss problems being faced by them. He said they had suggested cut in tariff on two raw imported industrial inputs and increase in taxes on 27 others items.

He said investors were committed to provide work opportunities to jobless individuals after the withdrawal of foreign troops, if the proposed drafts were endorsed.

Afghanistan industries union director, Shir Baz Kaminzad called the drafts effective for improving the industry in the country. However, he expressed pessimism on whether the drafts would be implemented.



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