Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) on Friday criticized an agreement enabling the presidential operations unit to import thousands of metric tons of wheat from India.
According to Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA), the National Procurement Authority (NPA) has taken the contract for shipping thousands of metric tons of Indian wheat into the country from one government body, and has given it to another govt body, without completing the necessary bidding process.
The NPA is chaired by President Ashraf Ghani. The contract is worth $15 million.
Prior to the move, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) had introduced five companies to be considered for the shipment of 75,000 metric tons of wheat to the NPA, but officials from the NPA argue that the body rejected their recommendations due to shortcomings in the documentation for those companies.
“There is no transparency in terminating this process, specifically charging the companies with conflict of interest. There is a need to clarify the conflict of interest issue. If there is evidence available it should be approved independently,” said Sayed Ekram Afzali, head of IWA.
The wheat is expected to arrive in Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar Port.
“The National Procurement Authority decided that the Supreme Audit Office should assess all aspects of the cases and later on the project was referred to the Presidential Operations and National Development Unit,” said Ramin Ayaz, head of the media department of NPA.
“I hope the wheat reaches Afghanistan during the winter, but not for the sake of interests of some companies, and some corrupt organs, for whom the poor people of Afghanistan are paying the price,” said MP Yarbaz Hamidi.
“They are corrupt people, they do not want the people of Afghanistan to get bread during the years of drought and hunger,” said MP Hayatullah Samangani.