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MoEC concerned over declining national economic growth

By Akhtar M.Nikzad-KABUL: After the decline in international aid there has been a gradual fall in the annual national economic growth and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), said the Ministry of Economy (MoEC) on Monday. Making the ministry’s 100-day action plan public, the economy minister Abdul Sattar Murad said that the overall situation for national economic development has not been conducive.

Talking to newsmen, Murad said since the international community reduced its aid and financial assistance to Afghanistan, the national economic growth and GDP stunted.

“The implications are visible as there are numerous challenges now,” he said. He said that when the international community used to funnel cash-aid into Afghanistan, our national economic growth rose to 12 percent. “But after the cut in international aid, the growth of national economy has fallen from 12 percent to 6 percent,” he said. He said that besides the decline in international aid, waning trade activities also affected national economic growth and GDP. He said the situation is quite precarious that calls for firmer government’s decision as how to augment the national economy.

Afghanistan is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. Since the collapse of the Taliban government and the NATO led invasion in 2001, the economy has been steadily growing because of huge foreign aid and investments, however in the recent past security situation has deteriorated and there has been decline in international and domestic investment.

Economic affairs analysts believed that withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan, security threats, lack of infrastructure and endemic corruption have been the major factors that are hampering the economic development in the country.

The minister said that despite business, trade and investment activities in the last 14 years and donations of billions of dollars by international community still 36 percent of population lives below poverty line.

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