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    Nangarhar sees good year, despite attacks

    JALALABAD (PAN): Nangarhar’s revenue increased to 12 billion afghanis ($265 million) in the year to March 20, compared to 500 million afghanis five years ago, the governor said on Monday,

    Speaking at a ceremony to mark the new Afghan New Year, Gul Agha Sherzai, said that the increase in customs income showed that the province was the first to be successful in trade.

    Giving an account of the outgoing year, he said that nearly 4,000 different projects had been completed in the eastern province, at a total cost of 14 billion afghanis.

    "I have shared the plan of 31 projects for the new Afghan year, and they have been approved by the Cabinet," he said.

    The projects include power supply, agricultural development, dams, a 1,000-bed rehabilitation centre for drug addicts, construction of a road and a large madrassa, Sherzai told participants of the ceremony.

    Last year, the new Afghan year was celebrated for three days, however, this year the officials celebrated for one day at an agricultural exhibition.

    In his speech to the participants, Sherzai provided more details about what was to come in the next year.

    A factory for farmers to store rice would be established at a cost of $3 million, a factory for milk storage would be built for $4 million and a project for water management would be completed at a cost of $17 million, he said.

    A new security plan was also being considered after Nangarhar was subject to several deadly insurgent attacks last year, including an attack on Kabul bank branch in Jalalabad city which killed more than 20 people.

    A fire that raged through a market in Jalalabad last year caused severe financial losses to shop owners, and Sherzai said he had recommended to President Hamid Karzai that the province have a well-equipped and trained fire brigade.

    On cross border attacks by Pakistani forces in Gushta district, the governor said he had held a meeting with military leaders of Pakistan and international troops three days ago. Pakistani officials acknowledged their mistake and promised to avoid a repetition.

    Efforts were underway to resolve a dispute between Shinwari tribes, Sherzai said, adding the mediators included presidential advisor on tribal affairs, Assadullah Wafa, and others.