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India to Build ‘Lalandar’ Dam in Kabul Soon

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(Last Updated On: July 24, 2018)

India will start building the Lalandar dam in Kabul in the next several months, the Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) said.

The dam was previously named “Shahtoot” but has recently changed to “Lalandar” dam.

MoEW officials declared that the expropriation process of the project will be completed next month and it will be put into the procurement process.

Estimated to cost in the range of USD 150mn to USD 300mn, the dam will be built on the Kabul river basin, one of the five river basins in Afghanistan.

The feasibility study of this project cost USD 1.86mn and was completed in 2012.

The proposed dam will provide potable water to more than 2 million residents in Kabul and pave ground for irrigation of 4,000 hectares of land in the districts of Charasiab and Khairabad.

The project will skew the flow of Kabul River into Pakistan, possibly causing a water crisis in Pakistan.

Pakistan is worried about the reconstruction efforts of India in Afghanistan as they fear that Pakistan or India may break the Water Treaty and cut off all water supplies to Pakistan during a possible conflict.

The Pakistan Economy Watch recently said that Islamabad must lessen its dependence on arch-rivals India and Afghanistan for water by constructing dams and water reservoirs.

Meanwhile, Afghan economy analysts are emphasizing on building more dams to survive the water crisis in Afghanistan.

“Not only the Shahtoot dam, but we also proposed the building of 44 other dams that will cause the economic growth and save us from the water crisis,” Sayeed Masoud, economy analyst asserted.

This comes as the Shah-o-Aroos dam project in Shakardara district of Kabul is also underway but is too slow due to the technical problems.

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Afghan carpet industry facing major challenges: ACCI

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(Last Updated On: July 26, 2021)

Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said on Sunday that the Afghan carpet industry is facing numerous challenges despite the foreign aid that has been injected into the industry.

The ACCI said that the lack of a dedicated industrial park and a suitable place to produce carpets are a key challenge that they face.

Carpet makers also said that the drop in exports of Afghan carpets is a major problem.

Abdul Jabar Safi, head of the craftsmen association said despite millions of dollars having been spent and funding from USAID being received no dedicated industrial parks have been established in Andkhoy and Jalalabad – both carpet making hubs.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry meanwhile said efforts are being made to resume the traditional craft of carpet making in order to preserve the Afghan carpet industry’s uniqueness.

The ministry said that they have assisted carpet producers recently.

“It (new carpet industry) undermines the credibility of Afghan carpets. One good point of the Afghan carpet sector is that it provides 100,000 jobs for people especially for women,” said Fawad Ahmadi, spokesman for the ministry.

Analysts say that the carpet production industry will come to an end if government does not address the carpet producers’ challenges.

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US, Afghanistan, Pakistan Uzbekistan form platform for regional cooperation

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(Last Updated On: July 16, 2021)

The United States, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan have agreed in principle to form a new diplomatic platform focused on enhancing regional connectivity, the US State Department said on Friday.

“The parties consider long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan critical to regional connectivity and agree that peace and regional connectivity are mutually reinforcing,” the Department said in a statement.

“Recognizing the historic opportunity to open flourishing interregional trade routes, the parties intend to cooperate to expand trade, build transit links, and strengthen business-to-business ties,” the statement read.

The parties agreed to meet in the coming months to determine the modalities of this cooperation with mutual consensus, the US said.

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Border crossings seized by Taliban impact customs revenue

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(Last Updated On: July 10, 2021)

The Afghan government said Saturday that the fall of key dry ports has disrupted exports and imports, imposing negative impacts on the country’s economic activities.

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) stated that the Taliban militants have captured seven key dry ports – the Islam Qala border and the Torghundi border towns, two trade gateways to Iran and Turkmenistan; Abu Nasr Farahi port, bordering with Iran, in Farah; Sher Khan Port in Kunduz and Ay Khanom port in Takhar, two trade gateways to Tajikistan; Aqina port in Faryab, a trade gateway to Turkmenistan; and Dand-e-Patan crossing to Pakistan in Paktia.

Khan Jan Alokozay, Deputy Chairman of ACCI, has raised concerns about the collapse of the ports, stating the traders can not pay taxes to both the government and the Taliban.

“Now, if we pay taxes in two places, it will directly impact the market, and rates will climb up to two hundred times higher than now,” Alokozay said.

Meanwhile, the price of food and raw materials have been increased in markets after the closure of these customs.

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