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Home | Opinions | Economic | Mines, Afghanistan’s national investments should be protected

Mines, Afghanistan’s national investments should be protected

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Mines, Afghanistan’s national investments should be protected
 Eklil Hakimi, Minister of Finance has expressed concern over decreasing of incomes from the country’s mines and told media that Afghanistan government should implement necessary programs for prevention of embezzlement in incomes of mines.
He said that a part of mines’ incomes where were national properties of the country were still embezzled by individuals; therefore, mines’ incomes have considerably decreased in the country.
Previously, civil society organizations overseeing the natural resources of the country had repeatedly expressed their concern over embezzlement of mines’ incomes , but it is the first time that minister of finance has been considering various problems as cause of losing mines’ incomes in the country. 
He said he hoped that the new leading body for ministry of mines would improve the incomes condition, asserting that government institutions should seriously work for protection of national properties.
“Our mines are facing with lots of challenges and problems – mines’ incomes are being embezzled by powerful figures in the country as these incomes are national properties and should be prevented”, Hakimi said.
On the other hand, a spokesperson to ministry of mines Abdul Qadir Mustafa while accepting that incomes in mines sector have decreased due to postponement of work on mines contracts and existence of big debts  on big contractors, adding that the ministry was trying to increase mines incomes by specification of debts’ balances and reviewing mines contracts.
“We are trying to collect first our debts by launching key programs which are currently underway and later take step towards providing facilities for signing mines-related contracts”, Mustafa added.
Previously, officials of Transparency Initiatives Organization for Afghanistan Resources Excavation had said in consideration to big mines resources in the country, Afghanistan should have up to $ 3.5 billion incomes annually from its mines.
Related to embezzlement of mines’ incomes and decreasing incomes in mines sector, economical expert Azarakhsh Hafizi told The Kabul Times correspondent, “Undoubtedly Afghanistan mines are national investment of the people, but unfortunately all mines of Afghanistan have been embezzled by a number of warlords and local powerful figures for the past few years and Afghanistan government has also paid no attention to overseeing mines excavation in the country”.
“Our people need to legally make use of their mines because Afghanistan is rich of big natural resources. If the government principally invest on the country’s mines, the people will have good economic future”, Hafizi asserted, adding that Afghanistan government should make effort to give excavation of mines to companies so that their incomes could not be embezzled, but controlled and collected by the government.
It is said that illegal excavation of mines has unprecedentedly increased in recent years in the country and currently illegal excavation of mines are continuing in Kabul, Panjshir, Badakhshan, Laghman, Kunar, Nangarhar and a number of other provinces of the country.
Thus, it is believed that most of money coming from illegal excavation of mines will fund armed insurgents who can use the money for destroying the country if national unity government does not take action for prevention of illegal excavation of mines in the country.
Shukria Kohistani 

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