AISA merger to negatively impact economy: Haqju
KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) chief Qurab Haqju on Wednesday said the agency’s merger into the Ministry of Commerce and Industry would negatively impact the country’s economy.
The possible merger was agreed upon at a meeting of the High Economic Council (HEC) chaired by President Ashraf Ghani a day earlier.
Haqju, who was present at the HEC meeting, told a press conference that he did not think the merger was good for the country’s economy rather it would have a negative impact on the economy and investment. “It is a negative message for entrepreneurs.”
He said department such as AISA was needed in the face of increasing joblessness and poverty in Afghanistan and to overcome challenges investors faced.
Haqju suggested that AISA should be recognised as an independent organ like Da Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat, Aryana Airline and the Independent Land Management Authority to generate revenue for the government.
He said AISA had the World Bank and donor countries’ support, but still the president declared his decision at Tuesday’s evening meeting of the HEC.
“If they (government) have problem with me as head of the agency, they can sack me, instead of merging the agency,” said Haqju, who headed AISA for the past more than eight months.
He said the agency’s revenue reached 547 million afghanis, 303 million afs more than collected during nine months before his appointment as the agency’s chief. He claimed a 170 million afs cut in expenses during the period.
AISA has the responsibility to facilitate registration, licensing and promotion of all investments in Afghanistan.
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