Problematic old contracts to be scrapped: Mines minister
KABUL (Pajhwok): Mines and Petroleum Minister Daud Shah Saba on Tuesday said the lack of technical expertise, accountability and transparency in monitoring mining contracts could be overcome over the next four years though tangible reforms.
The minister told a press conference in Kabul that the lack of experience to manage national and international mining projects was one of the major problems delaying the ministry’s work.
“We don’t have the capacity to implement international contracts and fulfill the needs of foreign firms, something that poses a big challenge to managing international contracts,” he said, expressing his concern over the lack of policymaking at his ministry.
“In this sector (policymaking), there is a complete anarchy. In job descriptions, there are no clear guidelines and strategy, but we are trying to resolve these issues,” the minister said, adding regulations on miners’ safety and health and use of explosives in mineral extraction were being reviewed and nearly 90 percent work in this regard had been completed.
He also informed that work on framing financial regulations of his ministry was 90 percent complete. “Currently we have no rules to fine contract violators and these regulations will be soon introduced.”
The minister said old contracts were being thoroughly investigated and those having problems would be cancelled. Expressing his concern over the lack of security environment, transparency and accountability to monitor contracts, Saba said it was not possible for the Ministry of Mines to develop the mining industry.
Saba said the most problematic sector was coal mines where most law violations were taking place, but there was no law governing the coalmines sector. “Reforming all sectors will take time, it may take another three years for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum to become an effective organ.”
Saba said the commencement of TAPI project was a great achievement for the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines as the much-awaited project was finally launched due to efforts by the ministry.
He also said the Jablus Siraj cement factory, which had been closed for 20 years, was being revived due to his ministry’s efforts and the factory would practically start producing cement this solar year.
The factory’s revival would produce jobs for hundreds of people.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.