Ajmal Abdulrahimzai, Spokesperson of MoF is briefing the media on HEC Decisions



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GMIC Newsletter Issue #20

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Readout of High Economic Council (HEC) Weekly Press Briefing
08 January, 2018

Agenda: High Economic Council (HEC) Weekly Press Briefing

Speaker: Mr. Ajmal  Abdulrahimzai, Spokesperson, Ministry of Finance (MoF)

Main Summary:
Today a joint press briefing was held by Ajmal Abdulrahimzai, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance (MoF) at GMIC to update the media on the 20thweekly meeting of the High Economic Council (HEC). He briefed the media on decisions made in the 19th weekly meeting of HEC.  He explained that HEC made important decisions on 30 MW solar electricity in Kandahar, Helmand Zamindawar canal and construction of private parking lots in Kabul.  He also added that for construction of this solar electricity two qualified companies are shortlisted and the contracts will be signed in a few days’ time.

According to Abdulrahimzai, construction of Zamindawar canal in Helmand is one of the urgent demands of residents of Helmand and meanwhile it is essential for the second phase of the Kajaki Dam. This canal helps to irrigate 16400 hectares of land for the agriculture.  Abdulrahimzai stressed that construction of Zamindawar canal was one of the most important agenda in HEC 20th weekly meeting.  He continued that the Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock is responsible for the feasibility study and initiation of the project.

Building private parking lots was another decision made by HEC in its 20th weekly meeting. After implementation of the project, the city will be designed by a particular system with standardized parking lots and the revenue will be channeled to government’s budget.

He also added that HEC and Kabul Municipality are responsible to work on a comprehensive and practical plan as well as the implementation of the plan which is the construction of these parking lots. He added that this plan is an important source of revenue for the government and therefore, important for security and prevents car robbery.

MOD Press briefing 01 January, 2018
Opening Statement
Greetings and Welcome Dear Journalists!
I would like to update you on the security situation first and then will respond to your questions:

ANDSF has 8 ongoing offensive operations against the enemies in 8 provinces. Further, the Commando units also have conducted 14 offensive operations in various provinces. The Afghan Air Forces have had 157 flights to support ANA over the past 24 hours including 9 direct level targets on the enemies’ hideouts.

•             As result of clearance operations in Shinwari,Achen,Deh Bala Khugyani,and Surkh Roh Districts of Helmand province, 11 Desh militants were killed and two Pakistani terrorists were arrested , 1 hideout 1 vehicles of enemies packed with weapons and ammunitions were gained and destroyed  by ANA forces.
•             21 terrorists were killed, 4 others were wounded as result of air targets in Helmand province.
•             1 terrorist was killed, 1 Hideout off enemies was destroyed as result of air targets in Orazgan province.
•             9 terrorists were killed, 7 other were wounded, 2 vehicles, 1 Depew and some weapons were destroyed    as result of air targets in Khak Safid district of Faryab province.

The ANA engineering teams cleared 96 mines which were placed by the enemies of our country in different areas to kill civilians and destroy public properties.

In total, 47 terrorists including 11Daesh militants were killed and 20 others were wounded 2 others were arrested over the past 24 hours.

ANDSF operations in Nangarhar, Ghazni, Kandahar, Faryab, Sarepul provinces are rigorously and successfully going on and we will keep you updated on these operations.

Afghanistan’s exports and revenues increased in fiscal year 1396
Afghanistan's exports reached $ 723 million in FY 1396, while exports were $ 580 million two years earlier. Meanwhile, revenues has reached 170 billion AFN in FY 1396, which represents an increase of about AFN 70 billion compared to two years ago.
Ajmal Abdul Rahimzai, Head of public relations and spokesperson of the Ministry of Finance, who appeared in a press conference in Government Media and Information Center (GMIC) on Monday, presented the results of the 19th session of High Economic Council (HEC).
Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology (MCIT)’s proposal to amend the law on Telecom Service fees, analysis of the value chain of Talak mineral and report on lease contract of cement plants and coal mines of Karkar-Dodkash in Baghlan province, were discussed at the HEC meeting, Abdul Rahimzai said.
According to him, at the meeting of the High Economic Council, MCIT’s proposal to amend Article 10 and second clause of Article 11 of the low on Telecom Service fees was approved and it was decided that for further proceedings it should refer to Cabinet meeting.
At the meeting of High Economic Council, it has been decided that investors should be encouraged in the extraction and processing of Talak mineral and their documents should be submitted to the bidding after evaluation.
Mr. Abdul Rahimzai said that 50 percent decrease has happened in bank guarantees and ownership of Audio-Visual media outlets. He also said: Afghanistan’s economic growth is 2.6 percent in the fiscal year 1396, which is promising for future of the country.
TAPI joint press conference readout - 27 December 2017
Ajmal Ahmadi, senior advisor  to the President on Banking and Finance opened the press conference by highlighting the importance of TAPI project.  He said TAPI was the result of hard work of both Presidents from Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.   He said TAPI is a joint venture between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.  He said the TAPI project is a 33 billion cubic meters gas. Three Afghan provinces will benefit from 5 million cubic meters of Afghanistan's share in the project.  Ahmadi said with progress in this project, 100MW of electricity will be distributed to Herat, Farah and Helmand provinces.  

Mr. Amanov, CEO of TAPI Pipeline Company Limited during his speech made the following points:

•    We have come very close to making this project reality
•    The TAPI project is another effective step in implementing Turkmenistan's energy strategy which is being implemented under the auspices of His Excellency President of Turkmenistan and aimed at shaping modern global energy security architecture vide creation of a multi-vector system of Turkmen energy export routes to the world markets. It is worth noting that TAPI’s development gained its momentum since 2007.
•    we have completed FEED development for Afghanistan & Pakistan section of the project
•    Once fully commissioned, the TAPI Project aims to export up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually for 30-year period.
•    The TAPI pipeline project has made a substantial progress from being a concept up to this date.  Major project agreements are in place, particularly GSPAs have been signed with all off-takers
•    we are currently on track for construction to start in 2018 and expect gas to flow by 2019. By the way, first welding ceremony is planned to take place in the beginning of 2018 in Herat Province, Afghanistan, in attendance of leaders of TAPI countries.
•    The TAPI Governments are fully supportive of the TAPI pipeline project, and, we can feel that support on different layers of TAPI Governments.
•    We also appointed a high-calibre team to facilitate the progress of the project and have committed a significant amount of time, effort and resources to get the project to this stage. This is because the TAPI project is hugely important for the development of involved countries economy.  Amongst other things
•    the TAPI will provide fuel for the industrial development which is desperately needed in the region at the current time
•    the TAPI will provide a fuel at a much lower cost than the fuels region currently relies upon.  This will act a stimulus for economic growth and further drive the development of the region’s economy
•    the TAPI will also provide a cleaner source of energy among known hydrocarbon resources
•    we have kicked-off route surveys last month, in particular non-technical unexploded ordnance survey, Environmental & Social Impact Assessment and Land Acquisition Planning.
•    TAPI project has all necessary ingredients to be called a bankable and technically and commercially viable project
•    there are some critical activities that need to accomplished with close cooperation of Afghanistan Government, fix the survey and further development route whilst our consultants are currently working on undertaking social safeguards assessments and developing a land acquisition plan based on best industry practices and Afghanistan law requirements.