Days after Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif approved of importing coal from Afghanistan, Kabul raised coal prices tonne for Pakistan, two days ahead of a visit by a delegation from Islamabad. The Taliban government has raised the price of coal yet again, this time by USD 80 per ton, Geo News reported citing media reports. The coal price has increased from USD 200 to USD 280 per tonne. Afghanistan's Ministry of Minerals and Petroleum spokesperson Ismatullah Burhan said that the new price for coal will come into immediate effect. The price of coal was increased owing to the constant surge of price in the global market, Burhan said adding that 10,000 tons of coal are exported to Pakistan every day earning the country millions. A trade delegation from Pakistan will visit Kabul from July 18 to 20 and they will have a discussion on bilateral trade and coal imports, Geo News reported quoting Afghan media. Earlier this month, the Taliban had increased the price of coal by 30 per cent after Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif approved of importing coal from Afghanistan. The Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan had earlier raised the price of coal from USD 90 per tonne to USD 200 per tonne due to the increase in coal prices in world markets, reported local media.
As per Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan would save more than two billion dollars by importing coal from Taliban-led Afghanistan. Shehbaz Sharif had approved the import of super-critical quality coal from Afghanistan in Pakistani rupee instead of dollars to help generate low-cost electricity in the country. He also gave orders to the relevant authorities, according to the statement, to create an efficient system in this regard. According to the Taliban, the purpose of increasing the price of coal was to increase the amount of tax and generate revenue for the country which is already in economic turmoil due to the drying of international assistance. It is noteworthy government collects 30 per cent of customs duty on coal exports. Moreover, after various sanctions imposed by the global community, the Taliban is now banking on its natural resources to survive. The Taliban are stepping up coal exports to Pakistan and have raised duties on sales, officials said, as the group aims to generate more revenue from its mining sector in the absence of direct foreign funding. The move comes with global coal prices near record highs after top exporter Indonesia imposed a shock ban on exports earlier in 2022 and then the Russia-Ukraine war, pushing prices up further.