By: Shukria Kohistani
KABUL: Coronavirus-19 has affected economy in nearly 90 percent of the world countries.
Here in Afghanistan, the illness has mostly affected the country’s economy rather health sector.
Although, the virus has disrupted the stock markets balance of the world and region, it failed to eye-catchingly affect fuel prices including oil and gas in the country’s western Herat province.
Each ton of diesel and petrol are sold respectively in $570 and $580 in the Herat markets and the gas price has not eye-catchingly fallen, while according to the world statistics, fuel prices have remarkably reduced since the recent month.
Meanwhile, civil activists point finger to the government in charges and the oil traders and blame some collusion between the government officials and the private sector. However the provincial chamber of commerce and investment of Herat assures of fuel price reduction in the province in the near future.
Food item prices have also considerably risen in the province, despite remarkable reduction worldwide due to the break of coronavirus.
Each kilo of liquefied gas is up to 45 Afghani, while the price of petrol each liter is still 40 Afghani in the Herat market.
The people expect that the price of fuel and food items should follow price drop in the world market.
Younus Qazizada, head of provincial chamber of commerce and investment told media that a commission has since some days, comprising representative from the governor office, petroleum enterprise, municipality and chamber of commerce and investment has been formed to work on reduction of prices.
He said the price of fuel including petroleum and gas are expected to reduce between 30 to 40 percent in the Herat market.
“Food and fuel prices have reduced in the world market, this is why we have set up the investigating commission to work on reduction of prices,” he noted.
Fuel are mostly imported from Iran and Turkmenistan to port city of Herat, but Iran due to Nowruz festival has remarkably suspended its imports, but according to him, the near future the prices would change once the imports resume.
Herat governor also confirmed the stability of the prices in the province, despite global markets are witnessing huge reduction, but vowed to reduce the prices through his office and other related agencies efforts in the near future.
Located west of the country, Herat is a port city, from where 90 percent of food and fuel ensured in the western and southwestern provinces and any hike price in the port city would affect markets in the neighboring provinces.
Right now, the price of each kilo of gas has risen to 50 Afghanis in Farah, Ghoor and Badghis provinces.
According to official report of the government, Afghanistan’s economy is relying 90 percent on imports, so the entire fuel of the country’s market are ensured by foreign markets.