Insecurity affects trade activities in Badakhshan
FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): Local officials say the ongoing insecurity in northern Badakhshan province has badly affected business activities and discouraged investments.
Abdul Haseeb Daqiq, an official at the provincial economy department, estimated at $214 million investments made in the province in 2014 compared to $128 million in 2015, showing a sharp decrease.
Presenting a report of his to civil society institutes and local people, he said the investment situation in Badakhshan was concerning.
He urged the government to take measures to ensure security in unstable areas, otherwise joblessness would increase and people would face social and economic problems.
Nazar Mohammad, a trader from Kasham district, said there were several reasons affecting business affairs, including insecurity on the Fiazabad-Ashkasham highway.
He said traders could not import or export their goods through Ashkasham port from and into Tajikistan due to insecurity.
The absence of technical resources and business facilities at Ashkasham port was another problem affecting businesses in Badakhshan, Mohammad said.
“Most of the natural resources in the province are under the control of illegal armed men. Traders in the past were able to export precious stones including lapis lazuli to Tajikistan and other central Asian countries, but now they cannot do that,” he said.
Badakhshan Commerce and Industry manager Ghulam Masum Mujadadi said only nine business licenses issued this solar year earned the government a meagure amount 64,000 afghanis in revenue. He linked the small amount of revenue to security problems the traders faced.
“Insecurity has affected trade affairs in Badakhshan, businessmen are discouraged,” he said, adding roads in Warduj to Ashkasham had been blocked by Taliban and traders could not export or import goods through the routes.
Warduj district was fallen to Taliban militants in October 2015.
On the other hand, Tajikistan has closed its consulate in Badakhshan due to security problems. The traders have to import and export their goods through Sherkhan port in Kunduz province, increasing their transportation costs.
The situation has also led to increased prices of commodities including food items in border districts of Badakhshan.
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