Hairatan traders blast govt’s dual-faced policy
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Businessmen on Tuesday accused the central government of “a dual-faced policy” towards the Hairatan dry port in northern Balkh province.
Addressing a press conference in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, the Oil Importers Association head said the public works and transport ministries had adopted a two-faced policy towards the port and as a result, most trade activities there had come to a standstill.
Malak Nadir Sapi said the tonnage of heavy vehicles shipping goods from the Hairatan port was less than those at other ports.
He said letters sent to the Hairatan port’s administration by the public works and transport ministries were quickly complied with while such letters took months to be acted upon in other ports.
He said big tankers carried away 35 to 55 tonnes of oil and small tankers 20 to 25 tonnes of oil from Islam Qala and Torghundi dry ports in western Herat province.
In Nimroz, he said, big and small tankers shipped 45 to 50 tonnes and 30 to 35 tonnes of oil respectively. In Kandahar, tankers transferred up to 70 tonnes of oil and from Torkham dry port in Nangarhar up to 45 tonnes.
But the Ministry of Public Works had allowed big tankers to carry only 20 tonnes and small to 12 tonnes oil from the Hairatan dry port, the trader said.
Sapi asked the two ministries to come up with a uniform tonnage across the country.
Oil and gas trader Shakib said the two-faced policy had a negative effect on trade activities at the dry port.
He said the volume of gas and oil imports at the Hairatan port had decreased from the previous one billion afghanis to 500 million afs because most traders had switched to other ports.
Scale official at the port, Mohammad Arif Arif, said they carried out all their activities in line with policies of the Ministry of Public Works.
Hairatan dry port director Najibullah told Pajhwok Afghan News they were duty-bound to protect people’s investments, prevent substandard imports and ensure all the affairs were legal.
He denied importers at the port were subjected to a dual-faced policy on the issue of tonnage. He said traders had invested nearly $400 million in the port.
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