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Afghanistan owes $2.5b in foreign loans: Official

Afghanistan owes $2.5b in foreign loans: Official

Feb 23, 2016 - 17:13

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Tuesday said Afghanistaninfo-icon owed $2.5 billion in loan it took from foreign countries and financial firms during the past 14 years and efforts were underway to get the loans written off.

Mohammad Aqa Kohistani, head of the treasury department, told Pajhwok Afghan News Afghanistan had loaned $970 million from the Russian Federation and the remaining from Iran, the Czech Republic, the Worldinfo-icon Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

He said the debts were supposed to be returned back in 40 years. Of the money borrowed, $2.3 was spent on reconstructioninfo-icon of the country’s infrastructure such as roads and airports and the remaining amount was being spent.

According to Kohistani, talks with the Russian government were underway to forgive its $970 million loan and hopefully they would soon make an announcement. He said negotiations with other loan providers were also underway to forgive the loans.

Kohistnai said Afghanistan needed loans for completion of some projects and talks in this regard were underway with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Abdul Qayyum Arif, a teacher at Kabul University, acknowledged Afghanistan needed loans for some key projects, but transparency in their spending should be a priority.

He said Afghanistan needed to obtain foreign loans for electricity production, development of mines and other key projects. Arif said countries like the USA took loans from international financial institutions for key and long-term projects.

He, however, expressed displeasure that the cash the international community had provided to Afghanistan in aid over the past 14 years had been ineffective.


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