Fuel importers in the Western province of Herat on Thursday weighed risk over continued irregularities in revenue collection and said this has pushed fuel importers to the brink of a financial crisis.
Hundreds of fuel tankers, reportedly with the backing of certain elements within government, enter the country through Herat without paying customs duties and sell their fuel on the black market, said some importers.
Meanwhile, documents seen by TOLOnews show that over the past four months, more than 400 fuel tankers entered Herat from Torghundi port and of these only 60 tankers left Herat while the remaining 340 tankers sold their fuel on the black market.
“Not enforcing the law equally in the country has been one of the major problems in Herat, unfortunately the issue was never taken seriously,” said a Herat businessman Faisal Sediqqi.
“This will affect government’s revenue and it also breaks down healthy competition between businessmen,” said Saad Khatibi, head of Herat chamber of commerce and industries.
Herat Fuel Union has said that the issue has caused major financial risks for local businessmen.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the provincial governor has confirmed the issue, saying that some of the companies are selling tax-free fuel on Herat markets. He said that the local administration would tackle the issue.
“Our expectation from the honorable ministry of interior is to escort the products which enter Herat - from the source point to the targeted destination - to avoid exploitation by profiteers,” said Farhad Jailani, spokesman for the governor of Herat.
In addition, the head of Herat provincial council has accused certain elements within government of supporting companies that violate the law.
“Powerful elements from government support them. Responsible organs in Herat have not been able to address the issue,” said Kamran Alizayee, chairman of Herat provincial council.
Herat Fuel Union has said that despite the fact that foreign forces have been drastically reduced since 2014, the amount of fuel imported has not changed.