Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi has expressed his concerns over a descending incomes from the mining industry, urging the relevant government organizations to put in place effective plans in order prevent the “embezzlement” of the mines revenues.
In an interview with TOLOnews, Hakimi said part of the revenues of the mineral resources, which are national assets, are being embezzled by individuals; therefore, he added, the incomes are reducing.
The finance minister said he is optimistic about a new leadership in the Ministry of Mines, but added that state organizations “must work to maintain national assets”.
“Our mines are faced with many problems. This is what you mentioned about. Mining industry’s incomes are being embezzled by powerful individuals. These incomes are national incomes and must be saved from embezzlement,” he stated.
The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum meanwhile said that revenues of the sector have decreased due to a pause in mining contracts and the existence of large debts on contracted companies.
The mines ministry spokesman Abdul Qadeer Mufti told TOLOnews that the ministry continues its efforts to assess the debts on contractors.
“First, we will collect our debts and then we will work on signing mines contracts by conducting key plans,” the spokesman said.
The remarks by the Ministry of Finance come at a time that recently Afghanistan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI) said that considering large mineral resources in Afghanistan, this country must have $3.5 billion annual revenue from the mining industry.