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Mines Ministry collects 5b afs revenue in 4 months: Dilawar

Mines Ministry collects 5b afs revenue in 4 months: Dilawar

author avatar
20 Feb 2022 - 17:05
Mines Ministry collects 5b afs revenue in 4 months: Dilawar
author avatar
20 Feb 2022 - 17:05

KABUL (Pajhwok): Acting Mines and Petroleum Minister ShahabuddinDilawar has termed the auctioning of mining contacts a failed attempt and said in order to ensure transparency, laws of the previous government are still being implemented in the ministry.

Key points of Pajhwok Afghan News exclusive interview with Shaikhul Hadith ShahabuddinDilawar, acting minister of mining and petroleum.

  • Previous government laws are still implemented in the ministry of mines
  • We tried the auction process for one contract which was a failed attempt, now contracts are issued through bidding
  • In order to ensure transparency, mining contracts bidding is carried out in front of media persons
  • New government policy is that illegal mining will be fully stopped
  • Individual stealing state property is a thieve, a national thieve and national traitor
  • Foreign aid is tied with bitter policies, our country is rich and we should depend on ourselves
  • After the takeover of new government, the mining ministry collected over five billion afs revenue

Complete interview

Pajhwok: Afghanistan is rich in natural resource and people expect that the untapped natural reserve will help strengthen the country’s economy, what is you view how long it will take for Afghanistan mining sector to strengthen the country’s economy?

Dilawar: My personal view is that Afghanistan is a rich country in the region, we should not link poverty and richness to foreign aid, poverty or richness should be judged from the national assets. If we look towards foreigners and think that we will be rich if they provide us with more cash and if they halt the cash assistance then we will become poor then we will remain poor forever because foreign assistance are never permanent and tied to unpleasant agenda.

I can claim that Afghanistan is one of the richest countries in the world provided that if we consider ourselves independent and rely on ourselves.

You may compare that previous government in eight months collected over 111 million afs in revenue from mining sector. We in the past four months collected four to five billion afs in revenue, this revenue excluded the benefits that will come from our new contracts.

This revenue is generated from mines that were auctioned by previous administration and we controlled, managed their activities and stopped unfair activities thus it generated up to five billion afs in four months.

If we ensure transparency and work with strong commitment and determination Afghanistan will soon stand on its feet.

Pajhwok: Would you please elaborate new contracts signed by the new administration

Dilawar: Up to 20 contracts awarded to private companies in small –scale mining but they did not start excavation.

Pajhwok: Currently, through which law the ministry is awarding mining contracts? Former laws or is there a new law?

Dilawar: In line with the cabinet instruction, the previous administration laws are being implemented in the ministry but if there is any article against Islamic Sharia or national interest, we will amend it, one thing that we added is open bidding process in front of media to ensure transparency and fairness.

Pajhwok: Would you please elaborate open bidding in front of media?

Dilawar: The process is that our technical team conducts a survey of a mine, then we divide it in blocks and give its announcement. During announcement period, we collect proposals and applications then we have a committee that give marks to proposals and successful proposal holders are invited for bidding. In front of media person bidders are distributed white papers in which they could write the contract value and then they put their papers inside a box and the highest rate wins the contract.

Pajhwok: Is this process you explained is present in the law?

Dilawar: We have added this amendment to the law in order to ensure transparency.

Pajhwok: Is this auction or bidding you are conducting?

Dilawar: No it is not auction, this is bidding

Pajhwok: Have you conducted auctioning process?

Dilawar: Once we conducted auction and that process failed.

Pajhwok: What is difference between auction and bidding

Dilawar: In auction the price goes up multiple times until it reach to the highest rate but in bidding there one chance and everyone write its price and put the paper in the box.

Pajhwok: Why did you use the bidding process only once?

Delawar: We thought that our traders would be very honest, they would offer the suitable price, but they came in competition, we did not want Afghans to be against each other.

Pajhwok: Once you used the bidding system for a nephrite contract, you awarded the contract to the winner or not?

Delawar: In that contract, two people came against each other, the price raised to 92 lakhs afs per ton, we dismissed that contract and stopped the bidding because we did not want them to suffer losses.

Pajhwok: According to the law of the previous government, companies are required to carry out mining, extraction, processing, environmental protection, job security, social services, employment, marketing, royalty payment and finances and submit their economic plans to the ministry. Is this still being done?

Delawar: All of them are being done, but we have added one thing as we are doing it in front of the media because if we don’t do it in front of the media, then the minister can give the contract to whoever he likes. Transparency can only come when it is done in front of the entire nation.

Pajhwok: Some sources claim that currently mining contracts, regardless of all technicalities, only value royalty payment, what do you say about that?

Delawar: Look, all the commitments that a private company has made in the proposal, they have signed them, they will comply with all of them, this is not the previous administration or is it the time that passed, here are two things behind us, one is the former administration which was full of corruption, the other is that in the past there was no national sovereignty in Afghanistan, so the previous administration could not implement its proposal because they could not visit the area. My delegation has given the same number, it will be implemented, even my intention is that I would hire a young engineer to every mine, we will pay to them in order to oversee that the private company carry out its work as per proposal or not.

If they (contractors) violate their proposal a little bit, the contract will be canceled, so they have all succeeded in their proposal, how can we give priority to one over the other, there is no other priority without giving value to royalty, we give it to anyone who offer high price, we value royalty, but we will be definitely implementing the proposal.

What remains unknown? You also submit a proposal, and I also submit the proposal, you also sign, I also sign, now if I’m given the contract, you are not given, on what priority? The other has no preference, unless in secret I offer a higher price than you.

Pajhwok: According to articles 40 and 106 of the mining law, the ministry should have a committee to determine the royalty price and fix the price for each mineral, which would then be paid to the companies at the same price. Is there any such committee existing now?

Delawar: This committee is working to determine the royalty and it is known to our technicians what is the percentage of this mine.

Pajhwok: Some time ago, a company was given six million afghanis per ton of nephrite in Khas Kunar district of Kunar province. The ministry has said the nephrite mine was operated under a transparent process in the presence of a competent board, the media and 16 companies that had met the bidding criteria in evaluating the bids, explain these fulfilling conditions.

Delawar: They have complied with all the legal steps, we do not consider the value of six million to be paid even one billion afs. The key parts of the proposal that will carry out the technical work, will focus on the technical work and if other important parts are not taken into consideration, we will withdraw it.

Pajhwok: In the past, illegal extraction was taking place in some provinces, do currently such activities happen? what is the message to the people about this.

Delawar: The policy of the Islamic Emirate is that illegal extraction is absolutely forbidden and is serious crime and it is called a national thief.

Officials in all provinces are paying serious attention to this and I’m very happy with it. Those who did it in the past they would be step by step questioned by the forces of Islamic Emirate.

nh/sa/ma

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