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Construction firms asked to invest in energy sector

Construction firms asked to invest in energy sector

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On
Apr 16, 2019 - 17:31

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Energy and Water on Tuesday asked construction companies to invest in the energy sector, but the Construction Companies Association claimed only blue-eyed companies received project contracts.

Acting Water and Energy Minister Eng. Mohammad Gul Khulami, talking about commercial construction opportunities in Afghanistaninfo-icon at a conference here, said that development of the country was not possible without the development of the private sector.

He said a legal framework had been opened in the ministry for the government’s cooperation with the private sector, which could invest in the energy producing area.

“Two projects, one hydropower and another solar power production, are under implementation and the construction sector can invest in this area,” he said.

Khulami said there was also the potential of producing 67,000 megawatts of electricity in the western region of the country and the construction sector could also do its part in this regard.

“In today’s conference, we will share information about projects we have with the construction sector,” he said.

He added that the Ministry of Energy and Water had recently signed an agreement with Aga Khan Foundation under which the foundation would produce electricity in Badakhshan province and the government would purchase it.

Sibghatullah Karimi, a member of the Construction Companies Association, who attended the conference, said some companies were capable and eligible for construction projects, but most of such projects were given to people who had political support. However, did not provide further details.

 “We are aware some contracts were awarded to companies which have no capacity for implementing them, reforms have somehow been made, but they are not enough because the private sector is worried about corruption in the projects awarding area,” he said.

According to Pajhwok Afghan News findings, a contract of the Khost Airport terminal was awarded to a company which did not meet the bidding conditions.

Eng. Yousuf Pashton, president’s advisor on technical and construction affairs, talking to the conference, also criticized the government’s noncooperation with the private sector and said, “Attention to this sector leads to stability, improvement of economy and job creation in the country.”

He termed the role of construction companies in the development of the country as important and said the sector had significant activities in Afghanistan since 2003.

Sharif Azimi, executive director of Afghanistan Construction Companies Association, also demanded a share for the association in projects and said projects should be awarded to companies based on their capacities and abilities.

He said 350 domestic and foreign companies were members of their association and they had great capacities.

mds/ma

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