Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) on Wednesday strongly criticized the Afghan government’s anti-corruption policy, saying actions promised by the Afghan government to curb corruption have been vague and there is a need for transparency for efforts to crack down on graft at customs.
The watchdog said that even President Ashraf Ghani’s promises regarding the elimination of corruption have not been fulfilled.
In reference to recent reports of corruption in money-generating institutions, the IWA said that the government’s incompetence regarding the matter is very concerning.
But, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has defended the government’s anti-corruption policy, saying there have been strong measures in place to fight corruption at customs.
“The Ministry of Finance has taken a series of measures for reforms at customs and taxation-- systematic work was done regarding this matter and those individuals who were accused of corruption were referred to the legal and judicial institutions,” said Shamroz Khan Masjidi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.
“The president has persistently acknowledged the corruption at customs, but no action was taken to resolve this issue,” said Naser Taimoori, a researcher of Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA).
“Corruption at customs...has increased on daily basis, prior to this, they were asking for Afs20,000 to Afs30,000 while processing a container, but now the amount has increased to Afs100,000 and the money is being embezzled,” said Ahmad Shah, a businessman.
“This creates problems-- there is a dire need to focus on corruption at customs, different circles are involved in it,” said Mohammad Azim Mohseni, a member of parliament.