70pc of Afghan cities unplanned, says Ghani
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday expressed his concern over bad condition of the cities, saying 70 percent of urban centres had been built in unplanned manner which showed government’s failure.
Speaking on the second day of the National Urban Conference, the president said people should take part in bringing improvement to the condition of cities and stressed strengthened links between urban citizens and villages.
He said a recent survey showed more than 960,000 houses had been constructed in unplanned areas across the country, something clearly showed the failure of the government.
Ghani said properties should be legalised, land encroachment prevented and usurped land retaken from encroachers.
“City is the engine of an economy, but unfortunately the cities of Afghanistan only play consumption role, so we should convert the cities into producing ones, “he said, while asking people to consume domestic products.
Ghani stressed the private sector’s role in development and building of cities, saying there were $3 billion in banks, but they could not issue loans to companies because they lacked specific and clear standards. The problem of loan issuance should be resolved as the companies were categorized and moved towards transparency.
“Even 50 percent of development budget is not being spent. Money has come to the country over the past 14 years but billions of dollars were wasted and could not be spent,” he said.
Ulema and civil society could also play a vital role in urban development and mobilizing people, the president, adding Masajid should be the axel point for change, participation and reintegration of people.
His special representative for reforms and good governance Ahmad Zia Massoud in his address to the conference said proper urban management could enable all citizens to avail good services.
Urban Development Minister Syed Mansoor Sadat Nadari said the continued war had rendered urban development imbalanced in the country. He stressed on the need for equal enforcement of the laws.
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