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Barikab Residential Town Draft for Refugees Signed: Balkhi

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2016)

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Officials in Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation have stated that the Barikab Residential Town draft for Afghan refugees has been signed with the Independent Directorate of the Regional Development office in Kabul City, in the presence of the Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Monday.

Sayed Hussien Alemi Balkhi, The Minister of the Refugees and Repatriation stated that each day, approximately 6,000 Afghan refugees return to the country from Iran and/or Pakistan.

Minister Balkhi said “13,000 houses will be built for refugees who return to the country, and this will pave the way for the other Afghan returnees to be encouraged to return to Afghanistan.”

Officials in the Independent Directorate of Regional Development urged that the distribution process of land for the refugees will transparent and no previous mistake will be repeated.

Elham Omar Hotaki, the Head of the Independent Directorate of Regional Development said

“The previous mistakes made while [distributing land] have [been] resolved. The current process will be transparent [and] we have launched a data base to track the refugees’ properties.”

Mr. Hotaki also stated that, in accordance with the President’s decree, a draft plan for the Barikab Residential Town has been under development for two months. The residential town will be built as standard and will adhere to the housing master plan programs.

Reported by: Abdul Aziz Karimi

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Covid-19 impacts; Afghanistan’s exports on hold

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

Afghanistan’s exports to other countries have been stalled due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and no alternatives have been considered yet.

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) blames the government for failing to remove hurdles in Afghanistan’s exports, saying that the private sector will lose millions of dollars if trade with neighboring countries does not resume.

Officials in ACCI say that trade routes with neighboring countries have been blocked since the outbreak of the coronavirus, and the government has failed to find alternatives.

On the other hand, experts attribute the lack of work capacity in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan to the decline in exports to other countries.

“Officials at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan have failed to come up with a basic plan for exports and investment in the country,” experts say.

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the country, a number of countries, including Iran and Pakistan, have closed their borders with Afghanistan.

In addition to the cessation of Afghanistan’s exports, this act sparked prices to rise domestically.

Meanwhile, experts and traders believe that the government should look for alternative ways to keep the drift of export and import alive.

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Unprecedented growth in watermelon harvest – Farah

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(Last Updated On: June 2, 2020)

This year, more than 789,000 tons of watermelon will be harvested in Farah province.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock said that the figure is up 6 percent compared to that of last year.

Officials at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock say that this year’s watermelon harvest in Farah province will be 789,400 metric tons. According to the officials, about 19,000 hectares of land have been cultivated  for watermelon in Farah province this year.

Meanwhile, a number of farmers in Farah province are worried about the lack of markets for the watermelon products.

They say that if there is no market, their products will be wasted.

This comes as a number of farmers in the province say that if the government doesn’t support the marketing of watermelon products in this province, their products will be destroyed this year.

Officials in the Chamber of Commerce and Investment have criticized the government, saying that the Ministry of Commerce should have previously marketed domestic products.

According to them, the government’s negligence will discourage farmers from producing crops.

They say South Asian countries are the best market for watermelon, but claim that Pakistan has blocked the export of the product to a number of countries.

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Da Afghanistan Bank sees increase in gross reserves

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(Last Updated On: June 1, 2020)

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the central bank of Afghanistan, Da Afghanistan Bank, has reached more than $9 billion for the first time.

Officials at the bank said that although the global aid to Afghanistan has declined, they have succeeded to increase the bank’s reserves.

Economists also underline that the central bank’s efforts will lure global funds.

The bank’s authority has stated that they have, for the first time, been able to increase the GDP to over $9 billion.

According to them, last year about AFN22 billion was deposited in the government reserves through investments in foreign financial institutions.

Although the Coronavirus pandemic has devalued Afghan currency against the dollar, the authority is pushing for effective programs to keep the value of the currency afloat, they said.

Welcoming the strengthening of the gross reserves of DAB, experts say that the central bank’s efforts would attract global funds for good.

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