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US ready to help develop Afghanistan minerals: Envoy

US ready to help develop Afghanistan minerals: Envoy

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Feb 07, 2018 - 20:11

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The US is ready to help Afghanistaninfo-icon economically exploit its mineral wealth, the country’s envoy in Kabul said on Wednesday.

Addressing a conference “Dialogue on mines between the government and the private sector’ here, John R. Bass said: “We want to cooperate the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum because this section plays an important role in economic development of Afghanistan.”

“We want the Afghans to succeed and make Afghanistan a prosperous, developed and a peaceful country for themselves,” he said.

The US envoy said people around the worldinfo-icon had good old memories of Afghanistan but war and bombs changed the situation in this country.

“The US wants to show the world that Afghanistan is a rich country in natural resources”, he said.
Calling the private sector’s role as important in extraction of minerals, he asked investors to take part in this area so mines of Afghanistan were rightly extracted.

Acting mines and petroleum minister Nargis Nehan said her ministry was working for ensuring transparency and accountability in mines contracts.

“We have signed 176 contracts in the last nine months; we assessed them and found that many problems existed in these contracts and most of the contracted companies did not act according to the agreements,” she said.

She said they developed a new plan based on which contracts with failed companies would be cancelled.

Pointing to contracts of the Afghan-Tajik petroleum, Amu River and Ghori Cement Factory, she said these contracts had problems and their reports would be shared soon with the High Economic Council.

She said that most of contracted companies in the mining sector did not pay their taxes on time.

“The revenue collected by the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum in 2017 was 2.2 billion afghanis compared to previous year’s 900 million afghanis,” she concluded.

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