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Trade 20pc down at Hairatan, Aqina ports due to insecurity

Trade 20pc down at Hairatan, Aqina ports due to insecurity

Sep 01, 2019 - 19:19

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Traders and their representatives in northern Balkh province say commercial activities declined by 20 percent at Hairatan and Aqina ports due to recent insecurity in northern provinces.

They say the Talibaninfo-icon also collect taxes from traders on the Mazar-Shiberghan, Mazar-Baghlan and Mazar-Dara Souf highways and they even stop commercial tankers and confiscate them.

Arash Younisi, Balkh Chamber of Commerce director, told Pajhwok Afghan News that trade activities decreased by 20 percent at Hairatan and Aqina ports due to recent unrest in the north.

He said bad security situation also affected investments in the north including Balkh province.

“Taliban gunmen collect taxes from truck drivers on the Mazar-Shiberghan, Mazar-Baghlan and Mazar-Dara Souf roads in broad daylight and they also stop and seize commercial tankers on a daily basis”, he said.

He said traders were concerned about the situation and were trying to reduce their business activities – a reason commercial affairs declined, he said.

Younisi said he had shared the problem with officials in Kabulinfo-icon but no practical action was so far taken.

Mohammad Ibrahim Ghazanfar, a trader in Balkh, said that goods prices also increased after the security situation worsened. He said prices soared in markets due to cut in imports.

“When Taliban collect taxes from traders on highways, it affects imports and increases prices in markets because most of our goods we need are imported,” he said.

Ghazanfar said recent security problems had worried traders and the situation had widely affected the general public.

Another Balkh trader, Bahktyar Bakht, also said collection of taxes by militants on highways had affected business affairs.

He said traders had to pay their taxes twice -- once to the government and then to the Taliban. The government should take serious action for resolving this problem, Bakht added.

Balkh traders say Taliban collect 20,000 to 35,000 afghanis in tax from each truck on the Mazar-Shiberghan highway.

mds/ma

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