ACCI wants row between oil importers resolved
KABUL (PAN): The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on Friday asked the government to create a commission for resolving disputes between oil-importing firms and the Ghazanfar Group.
The Ghazanfar Group, which set up an oil-processing plant in the Hairatan industrial city last year, has sought permission from the government for tax-free purification of 10-tonne of different fuels it has imported from Turkmenistan.
The demand has since been approved by the Council of Ministers and the Cabinet Economic Committee, a decision that has come in for flak from at least 21 fuel importers.
According to the critics, one fuel type imported by the Ghazanfar Group could not be purified by Turkmenistan itself despite its much stronger economic position.
They allege the group uses a substance that keeps fuel pure for 48 hours only. Such adulterated fuels are sold at cheaper rates, creating problems for importers and polluting the environment.
Competitors accuse Ghazanfar Group of importing such substances in the garb of raw material and paying nominal taxes on them.
Besides encouraging negative competition, the practice has been detrimental to other firms. Oil importers demand they should be given similar concessions if the group is not stopped from importing such fuels.
ACCI deputy chief, Khan Jan Alokozai, urged the government to settle the dispute on a war footing in a way that neither party was harmed.
Addressing a news conference, he accused the authorities of creating rifts among businessmen and industrialists. The government was pitting oil importers against one another, he alleged.
“We want the government to form a committee including representatives from the Afghan National Standards Authority, Ghazanfar group, import firms and an international company to find a proper way of resolving this rift,” he concluded.
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