Afghanistan to seek major loans from IMF to fund key projects

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KABUL (TCA) — The Afghan government plans to seek some major loans from the International Monetary Fund to finance some of the country’s important projects, President Ashraf Ghani said on March 23, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

Ghani said the international assistance to Afghanistan is only a source, but he clarified that the aid will “never” take the country to lasting prosperity.

The president said he expects $8.5 billion investment between the Afghan government and the private sector on some profitable and important projects which will help the country to move towards self-reliance.

Ghani, however, did not specify that when and on what projects the money will be spent.

“We are working on a plan based on which there will be an $8.5 billion investment in the country. This is the first time that we are seeking for loans to implement some mega and profitable projects in Afghanistan,” said Ghani.

Ghani said the government is able to collect only 35 percent of the national revenues.

The Ministry of Finance said that lack of taxation culture as well as security threats have been hindering government to collect taxes properly.

“Unfortunately, problems such as insecurity, drought which existed last year, other issues such as lack of tax payments, lack of capacity to collect the revenues and institutionalize a tax payment culture hinder us to collect the taxes,” said Feroz Khan Masjidi, spokesman for Ministry of Finance.

According to Ghani, to ensure Afghanistan’s economic growth rate at nine percent in the upcoming few years, the country needs to expand its cooperation with the regional countries, including Pakistan.

Sergey Kwan

TCA