Takhar mining revenue slumps by 300m afs
TALOQAN (Pajhwok): The mining revenue of northern Takhar province fell by almost 300 million afghanis in 2013 due to non-cooperation from certain government organs, an official said on Friday.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Director of Mines Eng. Fida Mohammad Tashi said that the provincial government had earned 13 million afs from the sector in 2012, but the amount came down to 10 million afs last year.
While linking the decline to his department’s inadequate budget and some government organisations’ refusal to cooperate, the official said Takhar was blessed with bountiful resources that needed to be tapped.
Much of the department’s income came from salt, lime and building stone, according to the director, who hoped that the revenue would increase by 30 percent next year.
Tashi pinned his hopes on new contracts for salt, coal and other mines in Gazistan and Lata Band. “Workers’ capacity will also be improved to ensure a boost in income,” he continued.
Forty-six mines had been explored in different districts of the province, he said, adding contracts for 11 had been signed with private companies. Income from excavation would go to government’s coffers.
Abdul Rashad Asfiya, the Namak Aab district chief, called a local salt mine a potential source of income. The mine played a key role in creating 300 jobs and enhancing government revenue, he claimed.
“The Taqchakhana salt mine is one of the largest in Asia. The Vesco International Limited, which has been awarded a contract, extracts 1,000 tonnes of salt from the site annually,” the district chief said.
Asfiya explained the firm, in line with its commitment, had to spend $50,000 every year on development activity in the district.
Residents, meanwhile, said professional and technical salt extraction from the mine could earn the government exchequer millions of afghanis.
Salt, coal, gold and building stone mines in Taqchakhana, Chal, Kalafgan, Chah Aab, Warsaj and Bangi districts are among Afghanistan’s important natural resources.
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