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Afghanistan, India Launch Second Air Corridor

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(Last Updated On: December 27, 2017)

Afghanistan and India on Wednesday inaugurated the second air corridor between Kabul and Mumbai.

The second route follows the success of the Kabul-New Delhi air corridor that has been used to export goods worth more than $20 million since mid-June.

In the first flight, about 40 tons of dry and fresh fruits were transferred to the Indian city of Mumbai.

Afghanistan’s second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish who was present during the inauguration said that Kabul is willing more than any country in the region to boost its economic relations.

He hoped that the neighboring countries even consider the economy in their political policy.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the economic relations between Afghanistan and India is boosting day by day.

“In addition to other countries, having access to the Indian markets is very important for us because it will play a key role in growth of the private sector and our exports,” Adela Raz, Deputy Minister for Economic Cooperation, said.

Meanwhile, the deputy chairman of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), Khan Jan Alokozay, said we had huge shipments to India through the air cargo flights during this year.

He added that the air corridors between Afghanistan and India would help in exporting fresh fruits and other commodities from Afghanistan.

“In addition to our businessmen, this corridor will encourage our farmers to increase their products,” Alokozay said.

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TAPI project suspended in Afghanistan until situation ‘stabilizes’

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(Last Updated On: November 27, 2021)

The implementation of the TAPI (Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India) project has been suspended until the situation in Afghanistan stabilizes, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan told Russia’s TASS news agency this week.

“The work on the TAPI, as well as on other projects like CASA-1000 (power transmission system project), is on hold due to the situation in Afghanistan.

“According to the information that we have, at the moment no one is working on this project in Afghanistan as well as on other projects. Many people have been evacuated, and representatives of the World Bank are no longer represented in Afghanistan,” Khan told TASS.

“After stabilizing the situation, we will be able to return to the issue of construction. But for now, the project has been suspended until the situation is cleared up,” he added.

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Afghani falls to record low amid pressing currency shortage

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(Last Updated On: November 26, 2021)

Economists are warning of an acute currency shortage in Afghanistan and the subsequent economic predicament as the Afghani has plummeted to its record low in trading.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) issued a report earlier this week urging prompt actions to prevent the Afghan banking system from collapsing, which is now “in disarray” featuring inadequate liquidity and decreased deposits.

The largest currency exchange market in Kabul now has been crowded with people and the Afghani has dropped to its all-time low.

Before the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA)’s takeover of Kabul in mid-August, one U.S. dollar was equal to about 70 Afghanis. But now the exchange rate hovers around 90 Afghanis to the dollar. The continued depreciation of the Afghan currency sparked fears among residents, with many flocking to the exchange market.

“Unfortunately in these two weeks the Afghan currency has been dropping down against foreign currencies with one dollar costing 95.5 Afghanis last week. Then the Afghanistan Bank released a statement that they will put 10 million U.S. dollars into the market, more than the 2.5 million dollars they actually took out. However, the price [of the U.S. dollar] didn’t go down but unfortunately have increased day by day,” said Zirak, spokesman from the all money dealers of Afghanistan.

Zirak said the country’s currency shortage was fueled by the combination of its assets frozen by the United States, the increasing domestic demand for U.S. dollars, as well as banks’ restrictions on dollar withdrawal.

The UNDP report noticed that non-performing loans in Afghanistan had increased from around 30 percent at the end of 2020 to 57 percent in September this year.

With the current trend and withdrawal restrictions, approximately 40 percent of the country’s deposit base will be lost by the end of 2021, said the report.

The currency shortage also comes along with rising prices. Some residents and businessmen in Kabul said that the prices of major commodities, such as food and fuel, have almost doubled compared with last year.

A Kabul resident is calling for the U.S. to release the frozen assets to save people’s lives.

“The U.S. blocked the money of Afghanistan, leading to the economic downturn. The poverty rate has reached its peak and people will die, so we urge the U.S. to release money of Afghanistan because [if not,] sure the people will die,” said Mustafa Bahram.

 

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Pakistan to allow India transit access to Afghanistan for humanitarian aid

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(Last Updated On: November 23, 2021)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday announced that Islamabad will allow the transit of 50,000 tonnes of wheat and winter shelters offered by India to Afghanistan.

This was among announcements by Khan after visiting the newly-established Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC), along with Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and NSA Moeed Yousaf, where he chaired its first committee meeting.

Pakistan will also facilitate the return of Afghan patients who had gone to India for medical treatment and are stuck there, he announced, Tribune India reported.

Pakistan will also immediately ship in-kind humanitarian assistance worth Rs 5 billion, including 50,000 tonnes of wheat and winter shelters.

According to the Tribune India, Pakistani authorities have not however said whether Indian trucks will be allowed to travel to Afghanistan or whether they will have to offload the goods at the border and load the aid onto Pakistani or Afghan trucks.

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