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HEC approves Nangarhar talc investment plan

HEC approves Nangarhar talc investment plan

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May 18, 2019 - 18:01

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The High Economic Council (HEC) has approved the ‘Nangarhar Talc Strategy’ which would help attract $15 million investment in talc extraction and processing, the Ministry of Petroleum and Mines (MoPM) said on Saturday.

MoPM officials are optimistic the investment would help generate jobs and revive rehabilitation projects in the eastern province.

Meanwhile, the Talc Factory Owners Union expressed concern over the decision, fearing it would create monopoly on excavation and processing of talc and lead to the closure of many small talc processing factories.

MoPM spokesman Abdul Qadeer Mutfa said the HEC approved the Nangarhar Talc plan last Thursday.

The plan was approved after a multi-dimensional debate and it was decided that the MoMP would launch the plan by consulting the bids winning company.

After completing the process, the wining company would invest $15 million in extraction and processing of talc.

He said in the past many companies who were awarded the contract evaded taxes, failed to generate jobs for locals and foreign countries were the biggest beneficiaries.

The Talc Union Head Mahfuzulhaq Kakar told Pajhwok Afghan News the investment would help generate jobs for professional engineers but expressed worries that many small talc companies would suffer as well.

Haji Wali Khogyani, executive head of the union, said the talc processing would come under monopoly after the investment and creation of Sherzado bloc.

Tribal elder Haji Wardak Sherzad said the government should take guarantee from the winning company not to give money to armed opponents in the area.

He said the presence of armed groups in the area where talc deposits existed would force the company to provide them money the way their extorted previous companies.

Qadeer assured the wining company would never be extorted by the insurgents.

nh/ma

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