Following timber ban, 3,000 Kunar carpenters go jobless
ASADABAD (Pajhwok): Thousands of artisans and carpenters in eastern Kunar province on Tuesday asked the government to provide work opportunities for them or lift the ban on timber movement..
Recently, the government banned the transportation of wooden furniture from Kunar to other provinces of the country, leaving many carpenters jobless.
He asked the government to allow the transfer of wood furniture, doors and windows to other provinces for the sake of providing work opportunity for the people and restoring the economic situation of workers.
There were people who had invested millions of afghanis in the factories, but they had either closed down businesses or were about to do so, he said.
A furniture dealer in Asadabad, Farhad, said he had been involved in the business over the past few years and had invested all htois capital in it.
“Earlier, there were 22 people working in my factory. After the prohibition, most of the workers have become jobless,” he said, warning they would lose all their capital if the ban was not lifted.
He asked the government to pay attention to the worrisome situation of industrialists and artisans and allow the movement of wooden equipment out of the the province.
There are 350 carpentry and furniture factories across the province, but after the ban imposed on Jan. 15, 2016, hundreds of people have been rendered jobless.
Businesses had collapsed and revenue of the customs department declined, confirmed the provincial head of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Mohammad Jalal.
He asked the government to permit the transferof wooden furniture and equipment to other provinces to resolve the problem.
Cabinet ministers allowed transferring timber from Kunar to other provinces for three years in 2012, a period that has been expired. But now the ban is in force, according to Director of Customs Wazir Gun Khaksar.
As the revenue of the department came in the form of taxes on the transportation of timber and furniture, the ban had brought it down to zero, he complained.
Kunar Governor Wahidullah Kalimzai insisted the ban had been imposed in accordance with a presidential decree to prevent the cutting of Kunar forests.
“We have shared the issue with the central government. A delegation was later sent by the president to Kunar and met artisans and provincial officials,” he said, adding they had been working on a plan to address the problem.
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