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Govt plans to standardize cities

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The government has planned to standardize cities and provide better facilities to people across the country.

Addressing a ceremony in connection with release of a report about cities, published with support of the UN-Habitat and Australian government, President Ashraf Ghani said that keeping in view the report the government would work over policies to develop cities and provide required facilities to the residents.

While voicing his pleaser over release of the report about the cities of Afghanistan, President Ghani said that the report would help him to follow the commitments regarding standardization of cities.

He said that the government is also working to address problems faced by the internally displaced persons (IDPs), within next four years.

Pointing to Kabul residents’ problems and the population explosion, the president said that besides standardization of the capital city the government has planned to transfer the ministries to Darul Aman area of Kabul city.

He said that cities instead of economic development faction, changed to social anarchy, so the government would hold efforts to transform cities to a circle of economic development throughout the country. Relations of cities with the remote areas are important in order to enable the farmers to have access to the markets. The government will exert utmost efforts to link cities with the rural areas, he added.

Ghani said that in order to support farmers, the government would purchase locally produced food items for the armed forces.

Shortage of residential plots is another challenge in the country. Thus, the government would step up efforts for solution, he said, adding that all the houses with illegal documents would get legal documents in future.

Speaking about unemployment, the president urged public to show patience as “everything will be on the right track.”

He vowed to create employment opportunities and resolve the problem.

Chief of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) Jailani Popal said that cities play key role in economic development, but due to lack of exact information and figures, municipalities in Afghanistan failed to collect taxes properly. He said that standardization of cities and exact information would help municipalities to collect revenue accurately and serve in a better manner.

Minister of Urban Development, Sayed Mansour Naderi, said that still cities are substandard and people face different challenges across the country.

He said that his ministry would put development and standardization of cities on top of the agenda.

Australia and UN-Habitat representatives pledged to support the Afghan government in the aspect.

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