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Ghani vows to protect uplift projects of national importance

Ghani vows to protect uplift projects of national importance

Jan 06, 2018 - 18:18

KABUL (Pajhwok): President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Saturday inaugurated Khan Steel Mill, an iron melting factory, in capital Kabul and said no power could prevent Afghanistan development towards national targets.

The Khan Steel Mill has been made functional with the investment of $25 million. Five hundred individual had been provided direct and 1,500 indirect opportunities of work in the factory.

Ghani said the establishment of steelworks in the country was one of his dream from childhood and added that he was happy to see his dream become reality.

He thanked the owner of the factory for huge investment and added the establishment of this factory was a national and Islamic move because it would enable Afghans to reach self-reliance on one hand and would help generate job opportunities for the people on the other.

He said the Khan Steel produced quality product based on the examination the government conducted.

The president added it was the government and people’s responsibility to protect such installations and support local product.

He said during the past 16 years most of the scrap metals were being smuggled to Pakistan which should be prevented. He ordered the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide report regarding the smuggling of scrap metals to Pakistan and directed these materials to be sold to steel mills in the country.

Ghani added that Afghanistan was importing 3,500 tonnes of steel at a time when steel worth $2 billion existed in the country.

The president added the strategy to excavate the Hajigak Mine was finalized and there was need for practical steps to be taken.

In the past 16 years, talks on the exploitation of Hajigak iron mine have been underway but no practical steps had been taken in this regard.

According to a report from Pajhwok Afghan News, Minister of Mine and Petroleum back in 2008 had said the Hajigak iron mine would produce $3billion annually if excavated.

The president said currently, six factories of steel were functional in the country which produced 220,000 tonnes of steel annually.

Khan Jan Alkozai, deputy head of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), thanked the president for his attention to the investment and economic sector of the country.