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‘Import duty hike to salvage Nangarhar factories’

‘Import duty hike to salvage Nangarhar factories’

Apr 13, 2017 - 21:15

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Factory owners in eastern Nangarhar province on Thursday said they might go bankrupt if duty on imports was not increased.

They criticized the government for not supporting local factories and resolving their problems concerning electricity, land and security.

If supported by the government, local factories would offer jobs to the jobless youths, said Toor Malang, who owns a metal melting and agricultural tools manufacturing factory in Nangarhar.

He said besides other challenges the low duty on imported foreign goods also hurt their business. “If the government cannot support us, we want it to at least increase tax on imports so we can compete,” he said.

Sher Mohammad, owner of Gift to Zest Food Process Company in Jalalabad, said 35 people worked in his factory and hundreds more indirectly benefitted.

Mohammad said he would create jobs if the government resolved security and electricity problems they faced. He said they could compete with foreign products if import duty was increased. He also urged people and traders to prefer domestic products over foreign made.

Mohammad Nader Bakhtani, who owns a factory of Greek Medicine in Nangarhar, said the electricity shortage and insecurity had forced them to increase prices, thus their inability to compete with imported goods.

Nangarhar local officials confirmed issues mentioned by industrialists regarding security, electricity and taxes, saying efforts were underway to resolve them.

Commerce and Industry Department head, Shir Alam Amlawal, told Pajhwok he had shared the problems businessmen faced with the ministry concerned. 

The issues led to closure of most of the factories in Nangarhar, he said. Amlawal said 180 small and big factories existed in Jalalabad and neighboring districts.

Nangarhar governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, said the provincial administration was trying to resolve problems being faced by factory owners.

“Their request concerning increase in taxes on foreign goods has been shared with the relevant ministry and check posts have been established for security reasons and more posts will also be set up. The issue of electricity will also be resolved.”

Economic affairs experts believe factories play a key role in a country’s economical development and prevention of crimes.

A professor at Nangarhar University, Ilhamuddin Sapai, said if the government increased tax on foreign goods, the situation of local small factories would significantly improve.

Once small factories improved and developed, they would employ thousands of youth and thus crimes rate would plummet.


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