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Mining contracts signed in past 15 years need review: Minister

Mining contracts signed in past 15 years need review: Minister

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Sep 27, 2017 - 19:10

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Acting Mines and Petroleum Minister Nargis Nehan said on Wednesday most of the mining contracts signed in the past 15 years had problems and needed to be reviewed.

Nehan said this while addressing a meeting here with government officials, members of parliament, European Union envoy and members of corruption watch-dogs.

“No work for capacity building has taken place at the mines ministry during the past 16 years and most of the contracts signed during this period that have problems need to be reviewed,” she noted.

She added overhauling of the ministry was underway by introducing reforms in procurement, mapping, human resources and contracts.

Abdul Qader Mustafa, spokesman of the mines ministry, said 800 to 900 contracts had been inked during the past one and a half decade and 500 of them had been published. He added all the contracts would be reviewed from legal and economic prospective.

Ramazan Jummazada, head of the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon commission on natural resources, said mining was the most profitable resource for militants after narcotics.

He said militants and mafia groups pocketed more than 25 percent of the government revenue in form of illegal extraction of minerals.

Pierre Mayaudon, the newly appointed EU envoy to Afghanistaninfo-icon, said illegal mining was a matter of concern not only in Afghanistan but on the international stage.

“It is our collective responsibility to stop illegal mining of natural riches because if this is not stopped, the situation would further deteriorate,” the envoy said.

Second Vice President Sarwar Danish said major development had not taken place in the mining sector. He added better administration could make the mining sector a huge source of income for the government.

Danish said illegal extraction of natural resources contributed to the growing violence and tension in the country.

He reaffirmed government’s commitment to reforms in the administration, duties and responsibilities of government departments.

nh/ma

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