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Kandahar Customs Revenue Up 22% in 2018

Tuesday 15 January 2019

KANDAHAR (Pajhwok Afghan News) — The customs office of southern Kandahar province last fiscal year collected 7.82 bln afghanis, showing a 13.5% increase over the target. The revenue registered a 22.6% surge compared to last year’s income at a time when bilateral trade volume with Pakistan has reduced.

Mohammad Akbar, Kandahar customs director, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Ministry of Finance had set them 6.239 bln afghanis revenue target for Kandahar in 1397 fiscal year (solar calendar), they collected 7.82 bln afghanis. He said the amount of revenue collected last fiscal year showed a 22.6% increase over six billion afghanis collections the year before.

Akbar said the revenue was collected on different items such as edible and no edible items, construction materials, drugs and other commercial goods imported from Pakistan or other countries to Afghanistan. Fighting corruption, blocking illegal routes for trafficking, reforms and a computer based system were reasons that helped increase the custom revenue last year, he said.

He added the revenue increased despite trade volume with Pakistan declined last year. Afghanistan’s trade volume with Pakistan reduced after Afghanistan opened trade routes with other central Asian countries, he said.

Akbar said their revenue in 1393 fiscal year was only two billion afghanis. Many people earlier escaped taxes and there was corruption as well in the revenue collections, but gradual reforms helped increase the income, he said. He added traders were provided many facilities in return for paying taxes and the tax payment process had been simplified compared to the past.

Akbar said 22 acres of land has been allocated for the customs office in Spin Boldak border town where commercial goods were loaded into trucks without any disorder and traffic problem.

On the other hand, Akbar said the installation process of scanners was underway in Kandahar Airport, which would prevent tax evasion and facilitate taxation process of commercial goods. Traders in Kandahar now can clear their taxes through E-Payment system which was activated this ongoing solar year to speed up the tax payment process and save traders’ time, he said.

On the other hand, traders complain they are overtaxed on raw materials, an issue they say has damaged the country’s industry. But Kandahar customs office says all raw materials being imported from abroad and used for productions in domestic factories were taxed only two or one percent. He said a laboratory for testing medicines and food materials would be imported from abroad and installed in Kandahar. These materials are currently sent to Kabul for test, he said.

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