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Measures to merge or dissolve New Kabul Bank ordered

Measures to merge or dissolve New Kabul Bank ordered

May 08, 2016 - 21:02

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The High Economic Council (HEC) ordered Da Afghanistaninfo-icon (central) Bank to take measures for merging the New Kabul Bank into another entity, the Presidential Palace said on Sunday.

The HEC meeting, presided over by President Ashraf Ghani, discussed the New Kabul Bank merger, the private entrepreneurship, import of wheat and construction of a township for air force pilots, a statement from the president’s office said.

HEC decided to make a clear draft under which the merger or dissolution of the New Kabul Bank would be decided and the central bank was tasked with doing so, the statement added.

Once the country’s largest lender, the Kabul Bank plunged into deep crisis in 2009, when it lost $987 million in fraudulent property deals, huge off-book loans and credit to fake corporations. The big-time scam prompted the government to take over the bank’s affairs and change rename it as New Kabul Bank.

Later, the government announced a $825 million bailout plan for the bank, whose scandal soon came to be the talk of the town. The scam angered international donors besides generating a heated debate in Parliament. Of $987 million stolen, the government claims having recovered $437 million. Twenty-four defaulters returned their debts until July, 2015.

The HEC also decided to provide housing facilities to Afghan Air Force pilots. Urban Development Minister Syed Sadat Mansoor Nadari said the Lala town in Qasaba area of Kabul would be a proper location to build houses for pilots and the issue would be discussed with the Ministry of Defence.

Regarding wheat imports, Agricultureinfo-icon Minister Asadullah Zamir said Afghanistan needed 240,000 tonnes of wheat this year to be imported --- 170,000 tonnes from India and the rest from Kazakhstan.

During the meeting, Ashraf Ghani called as important the role of the private sector in the country’s economic development said his government was committed to supporting the private sector in order to be encouraged to invest in the country.


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