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Farmers stage protest over cancellation of budget for 1,450 agricultural projects – Herat

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(Last Updated On: June 23, 2020)

Dozens of farmers rallied in front of a Herat governor’s office to protest on the cancellation of nearly 1,500 agricultural projects in the province.

The farmers accuse the central government of “double standards” over implementing development projects.

They claimed that although the implementation of 1,450 agricultural projects has been started in the province in the past one month, the budget for these projects yet to be approved.

Meanwhile, officials at the Herat Chamber of Agriculture and Finance say the cancellation of the projects will cause huge economic losses to farmers.

Najibullah Rahmati, deputy director of the chamber, said that in the current situation, farmers need serious government support.

On the other hand, officials from the Herat Department of Agriculture acknowledged that the construction of more than 1,000 raisins farms and 420 onion warehouses in various districts of the province has been suspended due to the rejection of the ministry’s budget by the House of Representatives.

The Herat local government confirms the problems raised by the protesting farmers, a spokesman for the governor of Herat insisted that the governor himself had met with the protesting farmers and promised to pursue their demands in Kabul.

The total number of projects to be implemented in the country’s various provinces was about 15,000, but the ministry’s budget and amendment plan were twice rejected by the House of Representatives. The projects which were done 30%, has been stopped.

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Central Bank says ATM to get operational in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: January 14, 2022)

Da Afghanistan Bank (Central Bank of Afghanistan), said Thursday, said that Automated Teller Machine (ATM) services by commercial banks will be resumed in the country.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Da Afghanistan Bank stated that the decision was made after a series of discussions with commercial banks and the union of banks of the country.

The ATM services of banks were stalled after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) regained power on August 15 last year.

According to the statement, the ATMs will be available at specific locations for the customers.

“Da Afghanistan Bank is striving to return banking sector to normal and reactivating the ATMs is a good news [for people] and [Da Afghanistan Bank] is trying to bring further facilities to the people.” Reads the statement.

Da Afghanistan Bank, so far, has not disclosed the amount of money people can withdraw from the ATMs.

Currently, people can withdraw up to $400 from dollar-denominated accounts or 30,000 Afghanis a week from the previous limit of $200 or 20,000 Afghanis.

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Afghan carpetmakers raise concerns over shortage of wool due to smuggling

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(Last Updated On: January 14, 2022)

Afghanistan’s National Union of Carpet Manufacturers raised concerns on Thursday around the smuggling of woolen fleece from sheep into other countries, which has led to a shortage of the raw material for Afghan carpet weavers.

Afghan carpet producers said that farmers in Ghazni, Zabul, Farah, Kandahar, and Helmand provinces are harvesting the fleece and then smuggling it into other countries.

According to the union, they have as a result been forced to import Iraqi and Saudi yarn to use in the local carpet industry.

“Our (woollen) fleece is being smuggled to Pakistan and India, but we have to import yarn from Iraq and Saudi Arabia,” said Mohammad Naeemzada, on carpetmaker.

“The price of one square meter of carpet has increased by 600 AFN. Because we import yarn from other countries, due to smuggling of our own fleece,” said Noor Ahmad Noori, the head of the Afghan carpet producers union.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) meanwhile said that they have also asked all customs offices at border points to clamp down on people exporting the raw material.

The spokesman for the MoF Ahmad Wali Haqmal said: “The Islamic Emirate needs time, the process [to prevent smuggling] needs time. We will solve the problems, and will prevent smuggling.”

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Uzbekistan restores electricity to Afghanistan after fixing power plant problem

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(Last Updated On: January 13, 2022)

Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) said the electricity supply from Uzbekistan has returned to normal after output fell by 60% due to technical problems.

The power supply company said in a statement early Thursday that the problem at a power station in Uzbekistan has now been resolved and that electricity supply to Afghanistan has been restored.

Two days ago, Uzbekistan was forced to cut supply by 60%, which left large parts of Afghanistan without power.

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