Afghanistan: Industries on verge of closures due to material shortage

PESHAWAR: Since the Taliban takeover on 15 August, most of the Afghan industries have been shut down due to lack of raw materials, rendering thousands of workers unemployed in the war-riddled country.

In the last two days, the closures of factories of Ghee Industry in Baghlan have been linked with the unavailability of raw materials. According to Afghan industrialist, Burhan, after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, 400 to 500 small and large industries have been shut down.

He added that because of closure of banking system, traders could not import raw materials for their industry as the available martial stock have exhausted. “Dozens of factories are closing down on a daily basis due to un-availability of material and lack of proper banking system,” Burhan said.

According to Burhan, every sector of economy in Afghanistan is paralyzed due to the ban on construction work as well as the inactivity of the banking system. He added that 10% of food in Afghanistan is produced locally while 90% is imported. “If this situation continues, there will be severe food shortage in Afghanistan which will affect millions of people,” the journalist warned.

An Afghan businessman said on condition of anonymity that the world powers should play full role to steer Afghanistan out of the current humanitarian and economic crisis.

He said that Afghanistan is facing worst unemployment and food shortage. The businessman added that despite the passage of four months, the Taliban has failed to restore and make the banking system functional the collapsed after their arrival on 15 August.

He furthered that after the collapse of previous regime, the Afghan economy is on free fall. “It is sinking billions of dollars invested in Afghanistan during the previous government,” the businessman lamented. He urged that the government to immediately open the banking system for Afghan traders so that they can import foodstuffs as well as raw materials for the industries.

Zardad, a local journalist, said that due to the closure of banks in Afghanistan and shortage of raw materials, several ghee, marble, plastic and dozens of other factories in various industrial estates are currently closed. He said that it has left thousands of people unemployed in the last four months.