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    Economic growth to bring stability: Haqjo

    KABUL (PAN): A senior trader representative on Wednesday said stability in Afghanistan could be achieved only when justice was ensured and economic development given importance over the military muscle.

    “The government should make policies and implement them jointly with the private sector to help accelerate economic growth,” Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) head told a news conference in Kabul.

    Mohammad Qurban Haqjo said traders had suggested the government several policies on economic growth, but many problems remained unaddressed in this regard.

    Elaborating, he said their recommendations called for bringing reforms to government departments, streamlining revenue collection process, identifying revenue resources, accelerating fight against administrative corruption and preventing unnecessary expenses.

    He added they had suggested the implementation of basis infrastructure development projects in line with economic needs and keeping in view the development of private sector.

    Haqjo said annual budgets should be prepared keeping in view economic hardships facing the society, saying the funds should be used as an element to accelerate economic growth. He asked the government to encourage domestic industry and products having the capability to compete with imported goods.  

    “The government has to seek solution to problems our industry and people could face after the withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014,” he said, calling for modernising the agriculture sector and attracting investment in mines and power dams. According to Haqjo, 60 percent of work force relied on foreign aid and the remaining 40pc were jobless.

    A survey conducted by the ACCI, Afghanistan economic growth in 2011 was 5.7 percent, in 2010 8.4 percent and in 2009 21 percent.

    Also in 2011, the country’s domestic gross income stood at $ 17.4 billion, less than compared to the country’s population.  Haqjo said $419 million came to Afghanistan last year in foreign investment, out of $ 14 billion pledged to the country.