Strategy devised to improve trade situation, Wolesi Jirga told
Rasa was addressing the Wolesi Jirga after being summoned to answer lawmakers’ queries regarding recruitment of some staff and corruption in his ministry.
Rasa said Afghanistan was ranked 177th out of 189 countries in the ease of doing business, but Afghanistan could change its position with the implementation of the four-year strategy his ministry had recently developed.
The minister said the strategy would help increase exports and decrease imports because goods which could be produced at home would be banned under the strategy.
Afghanistan could also provide good environment for commerce activities in a short period of time like Georgia that had been once ranked 183rd in the ease of doing business, Rasa said, claiming the current situation of Afghanistan was better than the old position of Georgia.
On March 27, 2016, a Pajhwok Afghan News survey found the deteriorated security situation, administrative corruption and political instability as main hurdles to the development of trade, industry and movement of goods and services in the country.
Pajhwok learnt these problems have resulted in a sharp decline of trade activities, with tax evasion contributing to the phenomenon. Exact figures and the volume of Afghanistan’s exports are yet to be known.
Afghanistan continues to depend on imports despite a decade of massive US aid money inflow into the country, which could not be spent on basic infrastructural development projects and a large amount of the billions of dollars foreign aid ate up by administrative corruption.
At today’s lower house session, some lawmakers accused the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of making some recruitments without following the legal process, but Rasa said not only he but his two deputy ministers made recruitments in case of urgent need on merit.
“They were recruited without any discrimination and all the recruited staff holds master’s or bachelor’s degrees,” he said.
On allegations of bribes being taken to hire people, the minister “ if there is no other officials involved in the recruitment process except me and a deputy minister, how can the positions be sold.”
Wolesi Jirga deputy speaker Haji Qadir, who chaired today’s session, asked the minister to respond to lawmaker’s queries in written form and the parliamentarians would decide based on his answers.
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