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The Wolesi Jirga approved a bill Wednesday to create a provincial affairs ministry, upgrading the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) for the purpose.
The move increases parliament's oversight powers, supplanting a presidentially appointed independent organ with a ministerial body that is answerable to the legislature.
Afghan media watchdog Nai urged the Afghan government to support reporters in order to help sustain the progress made in free speech over the past decade.
Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, Nai head Sediqullah Tawhid said that freedom of speech is one of the major achievements of the Afghan government since its inception.
The Ministry of Finance has threatened legal action against a number of small and medium security, communications, printing and airline companies that have evaded taxes "for several years."
The ministry did not disclose the offending companies, but it warned that they would be prosecuted and their names made public if they failed to pay all their taxes before the end of the Afghan fiscal year, coinciding with mid-January 2013.