Low-quality imports linked to bribes
KABUL (PAN): Marking World Standards Day, senior government officials and trader representatives on Sunday acknowledged low-quality imports were allowed into Afghanistan by customs staff in return for bribes.
The views were expressed at a gathering organised by the Afghan National Standards Authority (ANSA) at the government’s media centre in Kabul.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) Chief Executive Mohammad Qurban Haqjo called coordination between the trader body and ANSA crucial to developing the business sector.
“Low-quality goods are allowed into Afghanistan in return for bribes taken at customs offices, but no one seems to prevent this practice,” Haqjo lamented, suggesting that quality-check laboratories be set up at customs sites.
Deputy commerce minister Muzamil Shinwari said the country’s economy had been weak due to the government’s failure to give it proper attention. “Except saffron, we have no other standard exports to foreign countries,” he added.
Public Works Minister Najibullah Ozhan said it was unfortunate that Afghanistan lacked laws to cover the construction sector. Some wedding halls and buildings would not be intact if a strong earthquake struck because low-quality materials had been used in their construction.
ANSA chief Popalzai Popal said the authority had signed memorandums of understanding with Iran, Turkey, India and America on strengthening business cooperation.
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