Several talc processors based in Nangarhar are calling on the president to solve problems the country's talc mines are facing.
The factory owners state they have invested around $50 million in setting up talc processing plants, yet in the last three years, talc mines have not been handed over to investors, which has led to many problems in supplying raw materials to the factories.
The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum say they are working to solve the issue.
Owners of talc factories in Nangarhar claim that about 30 processing plants in the province have been shut down due to the lack of raw material. They further stated that mining talc has been stopped for three years now, leading to the closure of several factories.
“Our problems are too numerous, including the lack of raw materials. We do not know why the Ministry of Mines does not finalize the talc contracts--what do our investments mean?” said Mohammad Wali, a member of the Association of Manufacturers of Talc Stone Process in Nangarhar.
These factory owners blame the problems on the Ministry of Mines and the persistent caretaking system (acting, not full-fledged ministers) in the ministry for the slow processing of small companies, and ask the president for help.
“We are poor, unfortunate people and we ask the president to solve our problems, please.” Said Sayed Anwar Mohammad, a factory owner in Nangarhar.
“There have been challenges, but we have solved many of them, and soon the contracts will be given, and the extraction of the stones will begin,” stated Abdul Qadir Mutfi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum.
Talc is used in many areas, including paper making, plastic, paint and coatings, rubber, food, electric cables, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and ceramics.