Although Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance emphasizes not to process older model cars through the customs, but some Afghan traders warn that if their vehicles entered without the custom process, they will set the cars ablaze.
Recently, the Council of Ministers decided not to allow vehicles older than 2000 to pass through the customs, as these cars result in polluting the air.
Deputy Khan Jan Alokozay of Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, however, called the Council’s decision unfair in a news conference in Kabul on Sunday and requested the Ministers to reconsider their decision.
“This decision is not very practical. We request the Council of Ministers to reconsider their decision. If such restrictions are placed on the investor, then surely investors would be discouraged and would get their capital out of the country. If the decision is not countermanded, then the traders who are on strike will set their cars on fire and not sell them as spare parts.”
Afghan traders argue that currently almost 50 thousand old model cars that are Left-Hand Drives from Pakistan are driven around in Afghanistan, as a result of which traffic and environment pollution have escalated.
Meanwhile, Ministry of finance says that they cannot go against the Council’s decision. However, the traders can sell their cars as spare parts.
“Any decision that is agreed upon by the Council of Ministers, Ministry of Finance is required to implement it. The issue of vehicles transported into Afghanistan is outside of MoF’s jurisdiction, since the warrant is issued by the Council of Ministers, and we are obliged to practice it. It is a policy that the traders can bring 2000 or older model cars into Afghanistan as spare parts only.”
On the other hand, Afghan traders are afraid that they will have to face a loss of USD 50 million. They demanded the government to allow the entrance of their cars for now and in the future older model cars will not be imported to Afghanistan.