On Thursday, October 11, 2018, the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) held a roundtable discussion “comprehensive review of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum’s recent contracts”. Distinguished academics, economic experts, civil society members, and media representatives attended the event.
At the beginning of the program, Mr. Ajmal Ahmadi, senior advisor to the president in finance and banking, spoke about the challenges in the mining sector. He also talked about the contracts signed recently by the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum. Mr. Ahmadi pointed out that the contracts have been reviewed by the Council of Ministers and Lawyers of Afghanistan and then they were signed with the company.
Subsequently, Mr. Akram Afzali, head of Integrity Watch Afghanistan, spoke how role of law was violated in these recent contracts. He said that in the past 17 years, financial resources have largely been lost due to corruption.
The third speaker of the program, Javid Noorani, a member of the Independent Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) Stated that contracts issued by the Ministry of Mines suffer from a lot of problems. He suggested that large contracts such as the Badakhshan Gold and Balkhab Copper contracts had to be considered as strategic contracts for the mining sector in Afghanistan. Ministry of Mines and Petroleum needs its capacities to be built so that the Ministry could manage the contracts appropriately.
Abdul Qadeer Mutfi, the spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, was the last speaker of the program. In his speech, he said that the Ministry of Mines had encountered plenty of problems over the past years; however, the problems have been reduced as a result of the National Unity Government’s efforts. He also spoke about the challenges of mine exploration and mining and pointed out that the issue of extraction is an international problem due to low number of professional companies in this field.