National Environmental Protection Agency of Afghanistan (NEPA) has criticized the government’s decision to allow import of petrol ‘A80’, a “low-quality” fuel which was banned in the past in the country.
Nik Mohammad, the Chief of Surveillance and Auditing in NEPA, said that the low-quality fuels including ‘A80’ were being “smuggled” to Afghanistan, which according to him will increase air pollution in the cities.
He said despite people using old vehicles, expecting the government to import high-quality fuel.
The Afghanistan National Standards Authority (ANSA) confirmed the issue but insisted that they will prevent the smuggling of low-quality petroleum to the country.
Naqibullah Faiq the Director General of ANSA said that some positive steps being taken regarding the import of diesel and petrol in the country. But “people still not finding the high-quality fuels in the market, considering the fee as they pay for,” he said.
The consumption of low-quality fuel not only increases air pollution but also causes serious health issues to the people, according to Health Ministry.
“The patients who have issues in breathing system are being increased and it mostly because of the consumption of non-standard fuels which increase air pollution.” said the ministry spokesman Wahid Majroh.
This comes months after the Ministry of Finance suggested to allow companies to resume importing petrol ‘A80’ to the country, in a bid to reduce fuel prices in markets.