Marbles imported despite 9b tonne deposits
KABUL (Pajhwok): The deputy commerce and industries minister on Wednesday lamented that traders continued to import marbles despite the existence of deposits of more than nine billion tonnes in Afghanistan.
Mutasil Komaki, who inaugurated the National Marbles Conference and Second Meeting of the Working Group, said so far $350 million had been invested in the marble sector, but that was not enough and should be increased to a billion dollars.
According to the ministry, more than 100 companies and factories are currently busy extracting and processing marbles in the country.
Komaki, however, admitted acquisition of proper land, the lack of electricity and security and illegal extractions of marbles were main problems facing investors, prompting them to import more than 80 percent of marbles from neighbouring Iran and Pakistan.
He estimated at more than nine billion tonnes worth $200 billion marble deposits in Afghanistan, saying today’s conference was aimed encouraging investors to invest in the sector besides discussing major problems they faced and finding solutions to them.
Sirajuddin, an investor who participated in the conference, told Pajhwok Afghan News besides the problems mentioned by Komaki, the new mining law had also some problems and needed amendments.
“Under the law, an investor should pay 10 percent of his capital to the ministry as a guarantee, besides 5,000 afs to obtain license for extractions. This is a huge amount for some investors,” he said.
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