KABUL: The government has approved practical works on 67 mines in 22 provinces, Haroon Chakhansuri, the newly appointed minister of mines and petroleum said.
The decision was made by the high economic council, Chakhansuri said Friday, adding that the projects would go for bid.
He said that the mine extractions would take place in 23 areas where mines are illegally extracted by the armed opposition groups and powerful individuals, but did not specify the areas.
“The illegal extractions are carried out in three parts: first, poor people carry it out to support their families. Second, powerful individuals who have grabbed mines in some areas and third is the enemies of the people of Afghanistan who support terrorism,” Chakhansuri said.
He assured that illegal mine extractions would be stopped by security forces soon.
The mines and petroleum minister the extraction would pour more than 150 million dollars to the government’s treasury in the first year while it would jump to 800 million dollars for five years.
3,000 people will find jobs in the mines, according to Chakhansuri.
Meanwhile, the Integrity Watch Afghanistan, a non-government watchdog monitoring corruption in Afghanistan, says of lack of transparency in the mine extraction.
“The infrastructures in the ministry of mines like legal profession and evaluation, leading capacities and representing the people are in a lower level despite efforts made by the government for reforms,” said Nasser Timoori, from the Integrity Watch Afghanistan.