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Returnees’ land usurped in Laghman, claims Balkhi

Returnees’ land usurped in Laghman, claims Balkhi

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On
May 28, 2017 - 18:27

KABUL (Pajhwok): Refugee and Repatriation Minister Sayed Hussain Alami Balkhi on Sunday alleged widespread corruption in distribution of residential plots to returnees in two townships in eastern Laghman province.

However, the minister said the accused persons had been referred to the attorney’s office. Balkhi spoke about the performance and achievements of his ministry during the past year at a press conference here.

He said 1.5 million of Afghan refugees, including 616,000 from Pakistan and 438,000 from Iran, had returned to the home country in 1395 solar year.

For encouraging refugees, he said, cash aid to each returnee had been increased from $200 to $400 last year, when each undocumented repatriating family-- totally numbering around 6,700-- was also given 9,000 afghanis.

About three million and 400,000 dollars had been spent on welfare projects in refugees’ townships in 18 provinces of the country during the year, he added.

Main works the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MRRD) did in the past year included extension in the stay of one million and 300,000 legal Afghan refugees in Pakistan until the end of 2017.

He said undocumented Afghan refugees were registered in Pakistan last year, when Iran also extended Afghans’ residency cards and temporary passports. Agreement on refugees’ deportation issue was finalized with Iran, including 100,000 Afghan refugees children.

Establishment of an electronic system for collecting data about refugees and formulation of some policies and supporting programs for refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were other major steps the MRRD had taken during the year, the minister said.

He also informed about achievements with regard to combating corruption in the ministry last year. Balkhi said 42 million afghanis had been saved in the ministry’s budget in 1395.

During an audit conducted in the distribution process of residential plots to refugees in Laghman province, Balkhi claimed a widespread corruption was unearthed in the Surkhakan Qarghai Township.  He said the accused persons had been introduced to the attorney’s office.

The minister said residential plots lost to corruption in Balkh province were being recovered. In Bini Warsak Township of Parwan, 900 acres of land and commercial area and buildings in Qalamwal Min of Khost province had been recovered from usurpers, he said.

sns/ma