Insecurity tamping down exports via Sher Khan Port: ACCI
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Exports of domestic products to Central Asian countries through the Sher Khan Port in northern Kunduz province have dropped as a result of growing insecurity and the government’s inadequate support to the private sector.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) head for Kunduz Massoud Wahdat told Pajhwok Afghan News more than a hundred kinds of goods worth $8 million had been exported to Tajikistan during the ongoing solar year.
He said the ACCI had collected 500,000 afghanis in tax on exports to Tajikistan, including almond, kino, raisin, sugar, vegetables, clothes, motorcycles and other products through the Sher Khan port.
Via this bustling commercial hub, much of trade between Afghanistan with Central Asian republics, Eastern Asian and Persian Gulf countries. Last year, Afghanistan exported 130 products worth $22 million through the port and the private sector earned 1.4 million afghanis.
Some of the products included fertilisers, matchsticks, cotton, construction materials, quilts, peas, fruits, vegetables, Russian tractors and other items.
“Kunduz City’s fall to militants, insecurity, problems of traders, lack of government support to the private sector and international transit caused a decrease in exports and revenue of the port,” the official said.
He added most of goods trucks entered Kunduz without paying taxes under the transit system that caused the revenue to slump.
On the other hand, traders complained they were facing security problems on the Kunduz-Sher Khan highway. One of them, Ziaur Rahman, said they did not feel safe while traveling the road. Militants harassed businessmen on the highway, he alleged.
“Two weeks ago, one of my friends was stopped by militants in Dasht-i-Abdan area near Kunduz City. While trying to kidnap him, the insurgents managed to escape after policemen arrived at the scene,” the businessman said.
Rahman claimed Taliban flags had been hoisted in Mullah Sardar and Boztimori areas, only two kilometers from the city. He argued traders would obviously feel discouraged in such a situation. “We are tired of this and ask the security organs to resolve our problems.”
But the deputy police chief, Col. Mohammad Masoom Hashimi, said security forces had been guarding the highways. He asked businessmen not to worry about their security because the Afghan forces were there to ensure their protection.
Kunduz custom director had previously said they exported more than a hundred truckload of goods and imported 15 trucks before Kunduz ws overrun by the Taliban. After the city’s fall, the exports dropped to 10 trucks and imports to two trucks.
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