Sher Khan Port hard hit by Kunduz fighting, says official
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): The fall of the capital of northern Kunduz province badly affected economic activities, resultingin a sharp decline in the revenue of Sher Khan Dry Port.
Kunduz borders Tajikistan and through the Sher Khan Port national and international traders do business with Central Asian states, Middle East and Gulf countries.
Shahabuddin Bawar, the customs director, said after the fall of Kunduz City, Tajikistan closed the friendship bridge over Amu River that connects the two countries. As a result, traded activities at the port came to a halt.
Because of the bad security environment in Kunduz, trade activities in at the Sher Khan Port remained crippled for at least one month, he said. But now the situation is limping back to normal.
Bawar recalled before the fall of the provincial capital to the insurgents, the custom department generated 65 million afghanis revenue a month. However, after the incident, the revenue has come down to eight million afghanis.
Previously, 100 containers full of goods were exported and 10 containers imported on a daily basis. Currently, the exportsare 15 containers and importstwo containers. He linked the decline to growing insecurity, rise in tariff on Pakistani goods and disappointment of businessmen.
The officials, however, said this month the revenue might reach 50 million afghanis as the security situation was getting better.
Abdul Ali, who runs an export-import business, has stopped transactions due to growing insecurity. He said his business was declining and that he had decided to quit.
Like his counterparts, he has lost had his confidence in the government and he would not relaunch his business until the authorities ensure safety and security.
Earlier, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) officials had warned the Kunduz conflict might inflict economic losses of amount $100 million on the province.
Two month back, hundreds of Taliban gunmen stormed the provincial capital from various directions, capturing the strategic city after a few hours of clashes with security forces.
At least 166 civilians were killed and 1,300 wounded, 12 government departments torched and equipment of 63 others looted during the capture and battle for regaining the control of Kunduz city
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