KABUL, Afghanistan – Deputy prime minister for economy Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar during a conference on the country’s support for industries and investment urged there is a need to create transparency in country’s tax policy and administration.
Baradar’s remark came a day after a former member of the Afghan Central Bank’s supreme council Shah Mehrabi announced the $3.5 billion in Afghan assets transferred to the Bank for International Settlements has made $8.5 million in interest.
“The Islamic Emirate has the duty and responsibility to ensure the security, property, and honor of Afghan businesspeople and investors,” Baradar said, as TOLOnews quoted.
Addressing concerns on delayed tax payers, the second deputy of the Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi urged local businessmen and investors to pay their taxes on time.
“In the future, it is our moral obligation to pay the taxes levied by the Ministry of Finance in a transparent and timely manner,” Hanafi said, as local media quoted.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance said that nearly one billion Afghanis in tax fines collected from businessmen in the last 16 months will be returned soon.
“The leader and officials of the Islamic Emirate are trying to create opportunities for the growth of businesses and industries and support the private sector,” said Hedayatullah Badri, the acting minister of finance.
“After the Islamic Emirate came to power, which fines we collected at the customs, they are all protected, and traders can take back their fines according to the principles,” said Abdul Matin, head of the customs.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, at least 50,000 licenses have been registered with the ministry so far, according to the local media. The majority of the companies that have been granted licenses are based in Afghanistan.
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On Sunday, a former member of the Afghan Central Bank’s supreme council Shah Mehrabi said that the $3.5 billion in Afghan assets transferred to the Bank for International Settlements has made $8.5 million in interest.
Mehrabi, who is also a member of the trust fund, said the decision regarding disbursement of the funds has not yet been made by the officials.
“Since November 2022, when the reserves were transferred to the BIS (Bank for International Settlements), $8.5 million in interest has been earned, Mehrabi said, as TOLOnews quoted. “The decision regarding disbursement of fund has not been made.”
According to Mehrabi, Afghanistan’s reserves of $3.5 billion – including the roughly $36 million in interest – was transferred to BIS on November 7, 2022, where the revenue was earned prior to the transfer to the international settlement.
Local economist encourage transparency and proper management of the funds, saying standard reports should be developed every year to monitor and control the budget.
“They (BIS officials) should provide their reports quarterly about the interest of the Afghanistan’s assets,” said Seyar Qureshi, an economist.
Da Afghanistan Bank (also known as the Afghan central bank) funds have been frozen in thirteen banks and eight countries since the collapse of former government, paralyzing its operations that regulate all banking and money handling in Afghanistan.