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Smuggling of low quality fuel irks ANSA, AISA

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Afghanistan National Standard Agency (ANSA) and Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) on Saturday said that low quality fuel and construction material enter into the country in huge quantity due to open borders and affecting the growth of local products and environment.

After signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with AISA, Chief of the ANSA, Popalzai Popal, said that still low quality fuel is smuggled into the country in huge volume. The MOU was aimed to standardize and enhance the quality of local products.

He said the ANSA could not control smuggling of the fuel due to open borders while the relevant organizations were not cooperating.

“However, we [ANSA] returned 2.8 million liters of low quality fuel in the last three months, imported through proper channel. The quality control agency has started activities based on decision of the Council of Ministers,” added Popal.

Chief of AISA, Muhammad Qurban Haqjo, said that a big portion of low quality fuel is imported from Iran.

He said that it is the duty of the relevant organizations including Ministry of Interior (MoI), Ministry of Finance (MoF), and Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MCI) to control import of low quality fuel.

Import of low quality and customs exempted fuel by NATO forces should be discouraged and stopped, he suggested, adding that the government must not only check the customs, but check the retail oil sellers in the market to stop sale of low quality fuel. He added that quality of the NATO imported fuel should also be checked.

“Licenses of those companies importing poor quality fuel will be cancelled. Licenses of many companies have already been canceled. Low quality fuel damages the spare parts of the vehicles and pollutes the environment,” he said.

Import of low quality goods from neighboring countries is a main challenge that negatively affected both the users and producers. AISA is trying to prevent import of such goods in coordination with the relevant organizations, Haqjo said.

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