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September 26, 2018
The Kabul Times

President Ghani chairs HEC meeting

KABUL: Chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the High Economic Council (HEC) held meeting on Monday, the presidential palace said in a statement.

The meeting exchanged view on bidding process of Badakhshan gold and Balkhab copper mines, discussions’ report on Shaida copper mine in Herat province and the results of Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of 1396 solar year, according to the statement.

At the outset, briefing the session about bidding process of Badakhshan gold and Balkhab copper mines, acting director of legal services for the ministry of mines and petroleum Waliullah Zadran said that Afghan Gold Minerals Company has won the development, extraction and utilization contract of Badakhshan gold and copper mines.

He added but due to some reasons such as change in the government system, enforcing new law on mines and lack of technical and legal capacity as well as interests’ contradiction within the ministry, the contract has not been inked with the mentioned company, the statement went on to say.

The president said the government would never accept interests’ contradiction, adding investment is not a fundamental problem in this contract, but letter of credit, the statement continued.

He pointed out that the participants have jointly decided that a workgroup led by Ajmal Ahmadi with the membership of ministries of mines and economy to be created to clarify the issue and set a deadline to the company to present its necessary documents and letters of credit.

The president added that the workgroup should present its findings to HEC within two weeks.

Afterward, Zadran presented the report of discussions already done with winner company of Shaida copper mine, saying talks are underway to take necessary measures in the respect.

The president said the royalty regime existed in the past had not been logic, as in the new law, this issue has been clarified and there would be no problem in the respect anymore.

On ensuring security of the projects, the president said the government was obliged to ensure the projects’ security, but recruiting security firms is not in the interest of the country.

Therefore, to maintain the projects’ security, public protection entity should be reestablished, the president said.

At the end, a Central Statistics Office (CSO) in-charge briefed the session about the results of GDP in 1396.

Talking about the administration’s problems to collect the figures, he added last year’s GDP had reached to 20.2 billion of Afghani, a figure which is higher than 1395’s, in which the services sector had played key role in this regard.

Expressing glad over increase in national GDP, the president said our exports were more than what the figures indicated. He instructed the HEC members to seriously cooperate with CSO in sharing the figures, adding the deputy ministers should attend the meetings being held by CSO.

The president also instructed the relevant organs to provide all kinds of facilities to CSO so it creates a figures collection system, because it is a key issue in making policy.

The Kabul Times

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