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India launches ‘air travel bubble’ with Afghanistan during pandemic

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(Last Updated On: September 8, 2020)

India has established an air transport bubble with Afghanistan enabling Indian airlines and Afghanistan’s Ariana Airline to operate services between the two countries. 

In an advisory posted on their website Tuesday, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation stated there will however be some restrictions. 

Those who will be able to fly to India from Afghanistan include Indians stranded in Afghanistan, all Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders in possession of Afghanistan passports and foreigners, including diplomats, holding valid visas issued by an Indian Mission under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30 June 2020. 

From India to Afghanistan, passengers allowed to travel are Afghan nationals/residents and foreign nationals in possession of a valid Afghan visa. 

Secondly, any Indian national holding any type of valid visa from Afghanistan and destined for the country will be allowed to travel. 

However, the advisory stated that the onus will also be on airlines to ensure there are no travel restrictions for Indian nationals to enter Afghanistan before issuing a ticket or boarding pass. 

Transport or travel bubbles are temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services when regular international flights are suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Three new Herat factories create 500 jobs, mostly for women

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2021)

Three new factories in Herat province have been officially launched with separate production lines now in operation, local officials confirmed.

The factories, and food and dairy; another food; and a cheese factory, worth a total $10 million, will provide 500 new jobs – mostly for women.

Funded by the private sector in the industrial zone of Herat city, the inauguration of the factories was attended by guests including the minister of industry and the governor of Herat.

“With the start of the new production lines, indirectly, thousands of jobs have been created,” said Hamidullah Khadem, head of the Chamber of Industry.

According to local officials, more than 40,000 people are employed by almost 300 factories in Herat’s industrial zone.

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Government to build four dams in Zabul

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(Last Updated On: May 14, 2021)

The Afghan government said Friday that four dams would be constructed in Zabul province in order to help manage waters in the country, local officials said.

According to the officials, the dams – Mizan, Markok, Qaria Aja, and Allaudin – would be constructed at a cost of 132 million AFN.

The officials stated that the dams will be used for hydroelectric and irrigation purposes once the projects are implemented.

Ahmad Gul Rasouli, Governor of Zabul, stated that the dams could also produce between 61 to 77 MW of electricity.

The development comes as the government last month promised to begun constructions of 44 across the country this month.

According to the National Water Affairs Regulation Authority (WARA), the following dams, at an estimated cost of $600 million, would be contracted in 21 provinces.

Aghan Jan in Uruzgan; Mizan, Markok, Qaria Aja, and Allaudin in Zabul; Zardalo, Mullah Cheragh, and Chard in Ghazni; Gromby, Gorbat and Jalrez in Maidan Wardak; Gomal, Gomal Dowom, Zama, and Rustai Mirza in Paktika; Domand in Khost; Kharwar in Logar; Sori Khola in Paktia; Sultan Ibrahim and Qale Sokhta in Sar-e-Pul; Almar and Khisht Pol in Faryab; Rustai Aab in Samangan; Kantiwa and Kala Gosh in Nuristan; Aab Lory in Kandahar; Shoray, and Buzbai in Badghis; Wursaj Socha Maagh in Takhar; Dahane Mohammad Gicha in Bamiyan; Dare Bamsir in Daikundi; Shina, Zardag Bam, and Khair Maidanak in Ghor; Noor Gul and Qata Qala in Kunar; Pang Ziyan, Dare Shrasta, and Surkh in Nangarhar; Buzban in Ghor; Talkhak in Parwan; and Watan Gat in Laghman.

WARA stated that the dams, which will be used for hydroelectric and irrigation purposes, could store around 1,200 million cubic meters of water once the projects are implemented.

Once construction is complete, these dams will also irrigate an estimated 320,000 hectares of land, WARA said.

The Afghan officials said that the projects would also provide employment for thousands of people.

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ADB committed to assisting Afghanistan post troop withdrawal

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(Last Updated On: May 13, 2021)

The Asian Development Bank says it will continue its economic programs in Afghanistan after US and NATO troops have withdrawn.

Officials at the bank said that although the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan will create an economic vacuum, the bank is working to continue its development plans for Afghanistan.

Officials added that they are continuing their projects in the sectors of electricity, transport and agriculture.

“We have a large number of infrastructure projects, and the security of these projects is provided by the Afghan Public Protection Forces, we will continue to work,” said ADB’s Country Director for Afghanistan Narendra Singru.

On the other hand, the Afghan Chamber of Commerce says that there are economic-related concerns about the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, and some problems will remain in this area.

However, economists say continuing ADB projects in Afghanistan could address some of the economic challenges posed by the withdrawal of foreign troops.

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