Khost revenue down by 40pc: Naeemi
KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): The overall revenue of southeastern Khost province decreased by 40 percent this solar year, the acting governor said.
Abdul Jabbar Naeemi was addressing a seminar “Prevention of Revenue Decline” in Khost City, the provincial capital, a day earlier.
Naeemi said fundamental reforms were needed in the departments concerned to increase the provincial revenue.
He said Khost’s revenue had doubled during the previous four years, but witnessed a sharp decline this financial year due to some problems. However, he did not provide figures for the ongoing and last year.
The acting governor cited endemic corruption in government departments, bringing in commercial goods via smuggling routes, ongoing violence across the Durand Line and interferences by high officials in Khost departments as some of the reasons that led to a reduced income.
He urged President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to stop high officials from meddling in the affairs of Khost departments and help the provincial administration do away with administrative graft.
Naeemi also criticised some traders for smuggling commercial goods to the province from neighbouring Pakistan.
“If traders bring in commercial goods through legal routes and pay taxes on them, it can play a greater role in increasing the government’s revenue,” he said.
He directed border security officials to prevent commercial goods from being smuggled into the country from Pakistan.
However, a border police commander in Khost, Col. Taj Ali, said Khost shared a 184-kilometre border with Pakistan comprising more than 50 crossing points. He said it was not possible to control smuggling through the entire border crossings.
The commander said the number of border forces should be increased and the forces should be provided with equipment they needed.
Khost Economy Director Eng. Hamid Shah told Pajhwok Afghan News some private unregistered entrepreneurs had been active doing illegal businesses and evading taxes.
A civil society activist, Nasir Ahmad Rokhan, said departments which earned huge revenues should work to prevent the returns from being wasted.
Citing an example, he said the provincial municipality earned the most revenue but it had been rife with endemic corruption.
Rokhan said if the industry, agriculture and livestock sectors were encouraged, it could help boost people’s economic condition and the government’s revenue.
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