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Legislators accuse foreign contractors of misusing tax exemption

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: The Lower House of Parliament disclosed 23 logistic companies that they claim misuse tax exemption agreement in oil importing.

Naeem Lalai Hamidzai, member of parliament, told newsmen that 23 NATO and US contractors were found guilty in this regard in the northern border ports.

Based on an agreement between Afghan government and the NATO, those companies who supply the NATO-led coalition are exempted of paying taxes.

“These companies apparently import oil to the NATO and US troops, while 90 per cent of them sell it in the markets,” Hamidzai claimed.

He said that 2.6 million of 4.8 billion liters of the oil imported for the international troops have been sold in the markets.

According to Hamidzai, the companies still import oil for more than 100,000 NATO troops, while there are at most 15,000 forces now in Afghanistan as their combat mission ended one year ago. “This is an example that they sell the oil to the markets.”

He termed the oil trade corruption bigger than the Kabul Bank scandal.

“Some senior government officials undoubtedly have hands in this big corruption.”

Another lawmaker Chaman Shah Etemadi believes that most of the contractors import oil while they are expected to supply other NATO essentials.

“Afghan government sustains a huge loss by contractors of foreign forces,” he said.

He underlined that the illegal import of oil by foreign contractors have put no effect on price of fuel.

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