KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): About 80 small confectionery factories have wound up their businessesin southern Kandahar province due to decreasing sales.
Kandahar municipality officials say owners of theclosed factories claim that confectionery products are imported with lower prices from Pakistan, making it difficult for them to compete with the imported products as they cannot make any profits.
Saifullah Asim, the head of media office of Kandahar city municipality, told Pajhwok Afghan News there were 130 confectionery factories in the city about 12 months ago, but currently only 51 of them were active.
Asim said: “The owners of these confectioneries claim that Pakistani candies are imported to Kandahar city which are cheaper and customers also prefer to purchase cheaper sweets instead of domestic products”.
Owners of confectioneries also say cheap candy products are imported from neighboring countries and that is why their factories face stagnation.
Nida Mohammad, the head of confectioneries union,said the imports of sweets from neighboring countries, especially from Pakistan, have recently increased.
Nida Mohammad said: “The sugar we use in candies is imported from other countries, Pakistan has its own sugar products and candies are also produced cheaplythere, so we can’t compete with such imported products in the markets, that is why over half of the confectioneries have stopped working”.
He asked the government to increase tax on imported goods to increase the value of domestic products.
Owners of running confectioneries also urged increase tax on candy imports and said if the government didnot prevent illegal imports of candies, the remaining confectioneries will also stop working.
Ahmad Shah, owner of a confectionery, said: “We want the imports and smuggling of sweets to be stopped from Pakistan to increase the value of domestic products and if tax is not increased on Pakistani candies, our factories will cease to exist”.
Owners of confectioneries say eight to 12 workers areemployed in every confectionery and their number reaches hundreds.
Mobin Ahmad, who closed his candy factory some time ago, said the expenses of his factory were higher than its income, so her closed the factory.
Mobin Ahmad said: “We could not sell our products for less than their cost because the Pakistani candy wasup to 800 afs cheaper per each 50 kilograms, we were suffering losses”.
But Khalil Ur Rahman Wardak, the spokesman of Kandahar customs house, said their office had increased tax on imported candy to encourage domestic products.