Cabinet decision lifting ban on timber goes unenforced
ASADABAD (Pajhwok): Timber traders and carpenters in eastern Kunar province on Tuesday asked the Cabinet to implement its decision of lifting ban on wood transportation.
The Cabinet’s Economic Committee a few months ago decided to allow traders to transfer wood-made items to other areas of the country.
However, a number of factories’ owners and carpenters say months had passed but the Cabinet decision is yet to be enforced.
A wood factory head in Asadabad, the provincial capital, told Pajhwok Afghan News earlier wood-made materials in their factories were allowed to be transported to other parts of Afghanistan something that kept their trade and economic situation afoot.
But the government last year imposed a ban on transportation of timber from one part to another, causing losses to people. The ban ruined businesses and rendered hundreds jobless.
Farhad said there were 40 workers in his factory but currently their number had reduced to 10, with his business worsening.
“A few months earlier the Council of Ministers withdrew the ban and we were very happy with the decision but months had passed and the decision remains unimplemented.”
A carpenter at a wood factory, Mohammad Ismail, said the ban remained in effect.“When the government is not capable of executing its decisions then why does it take decisions?”
He asked the government to implement the Cabinet decision at the earliest possible in order the carpenters resume their jobs and factories revive again.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) Kunar chapter head, Mohammad Jalal, said there were 500 small and big wood work factories in the provincial capital and districts employing nearly 10,000 people.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News since the ban on the transportation of wood-made stuff, many carpentry businesses had come to a halt, sending hundreds of workers jobless.
Jalal said some factories were either closed or their work declined and Kunar had been in serious economical issues.
He also confirmed the Council of Ministers’ decision hadn’t been implemented so far and no step taken in this regard.
Governor Waheedullah Kalimzai said wood business in the province had progressed enough and carpenters used to make furniture, doors, windows, tables and other stuff from wood.
According to him, wood business increased government’s revenue until the ban was imposed on February 15, 2016.
Kalimzai said he had shared the issue with central government multiple times and a delegation had also arrived in Asadabad in this regard and had held talks with traders.
Kalimzai said he was aware of the recent Cabinet decision but no official letter had been sent to him in this regard.
“We watched the ministers’ council decision on Television but there has been no official instruction to us.”
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.