Herat a security paradigm for other provinces: governor
HERAT CITY (PAN): Although the strength of the police force in western Herat province was inadequate, the overall security situation had improved there, setting a paradigm for the rest of the country, Governor Daud Shah Saba said on Sunday.
One sign of improved security was that markets remained open till late at night and residents could shop easily, the governor said in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News
"Last year, 18 percent of the total national revenue -- more than 14 billion afghanis ($282.5 million) -- was contributed by Heart. This year it will increase to more than 20 percent," he predicted.
Most of the revenue was collected by the customs department, he said. There are 300 factories operating in the province, bordering Iran. The products, including cold drinks, biscuits, cakes, detergents, plastic pipes and utensils, meet demand of Herat and other provinces in the western zone.
Additionally, Herat is also known for producing saffron, dry fruits, carpets and construction materials. Their value stood at more than $34 million over the past nine months, chamber of commerce and industries' officials said.
According to the governor, work on promotion of agriculture and extraction of mines is also underway. "We have made Herat an example of stability in Afghanistan," he claimed, listing the construction of buildings for girls' schools a top priority.
Across the province, there are 340 schools that need reconstruction or renovation. The governor said the main challenge was a lack of electricity supply, a problem that he could not resolve on his own.
Herat's import of power from Iran and Turkmenistan has considerably decreased in recent years, largely due to soaring demand. "I have many initiatives whose implementation will lend the provincial economy a big boost," he concluded.
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