The customs revenue of eastern Nangarhar province increased 22 percent in the first six months of the Persian year compared to the same period last year after a crackdown on graft and the black market.
Despite a reduction in drink imports because of increased domestic production, and problems stemming from transport through Pakistan port, the province’s customs revenue still rose 22 percent in the first half (March 22 to September 22) compared to last year’s first half, according to head of Nangarhar customs Ehsanullah Kamawal.
Locals officials said the revenue increase was the result of a tougher line on corruption and on goods smuggling from across the border with Pakistan, adding that the increased revenue for the year compared to last year may be as a high as a 50 percent.
“Our trade has dropped almost 80 percent compared to last year but still we have been able to increase our revenue by 20 to 22 percent,” Kamawal told TOLOnews.
Meanwhile, amid efforts to ensure customs taxes are paid to eliminate corruption and goods-smuggling, Kamawal said a number of traders who over the years have not paid their customs taxes have been identified and will be dealt with under the law.
“Many smugglers who conducted trade illegally last year, buying goods illegally and avoiding taxes, have been marked and we have made complete files against them. One by one we will catch them and will pay the last year taxes from them towards the government revenue,” he said.
According to Kamawal, Turkham port in Nangarhar has the highest amount of trade flow in Afghanistan mainly because of its proximity to Pakistan.
The government is scheduled to build a new equipped building in addition to the existing one for Nangarhar Customs in order to further increase facilities for traders and increase government revenue in the long-term.