Monopoly on goods transfer from airport sparks protest
KABUL (Pajhwok): Several traders on Saturday warned of closing their businesses if goods transfer from the custom office at the Hamid Karzai International Airport remained the monopoly of a single company.
Banu Company received the license of goods transportation from Hamid Karzai International Airport in 2015 from the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (MoTCA).
However, a number of traders criticised the MoTCA for issuing a licence to the Banu Company. Tens of traders gathered in front of the airport custom office and kept the gate shut for three hours.
Haji Obaidullah, speaking on behalf of his other colleagues, said goods transfer from the airport’s custom office should not be monopolised by a single company.
He said businessmen, who owned vehicles, should be allowed to enter the airport to take out their goods through their personal trucks. The cost of goods transfer is set only by Banu Company, he alleged, saying 55 traders entered and 50 of them took their goods out on a daily basis.
“If this situation continues, a single company will monopolise the transportation of goods from the Hamid Karzai International Airport. Importers using the airport would stop their businesses,” he warned.
Haji Asadullah, another trader, was of the same view. “No one in the free market has the right to monopolise a business. Monopoly is against Article 10 of the constitution.”
Article 10 of the constitution says: “The state shall encourage, protect as well as ensure the safety of capital investment and private enterprises in accordance with the provisions of the law and market economy,”
He also criticized police for preventing traders from holding a protest demonstration.
However, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Asif Jabarkhel, chief of border police of Kabul Airport, said protest organizers should inform police 24 hours before any rally was hold. However, traders did not do so.
Jabarkhel said border police at the airport were discussing the issue with the MoTCA, Ministry of Finance, Banu Company and traders’ representatives.
Zarin Taj Malakzada, head of Banu Company, said they had no problem if any other firm was issued a licence for the same business. She alleged the protest was aimed to avoid paying taxes.
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