KABUL - A High Economic Council, led by President Hamid Karzai, was created on Saturday to improve the country's overall economic situation, officials said.
Addressing a news conference in Kabul, Minister of Commerce and Industries Anwarul Haq Ahadi said the president set up the body to evaluate the economic development of post-2014 Afghanistan.
He said three representatives each from the Cabinet, university professors and the private sectors would be included in the body, which would a key role policy making.
While urging the private sector to step up investment in the county, the minister promised the government would provide them all possible facilities, including land plots, power supply and lower taxes.
Currently, he acknowledged, the landlocked country was heavily dependent on imports but they wanted the essential commodities to be produced domestically. He believed Afghanistan's economic situation would improve after 2014.
Investments in the country had increased by 20 percent to $460 million (23.9 billion afghanis) during the first nine months of the current fiscal year, compared to $380 million for the corresponding period in 2011.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Economy Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal said the council would start functioning soon, framing a viable policy to facilitate private investments. He hoped Afghanistan would become self-sufficient in a decade if the mining sector was intelligently exploited.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) head, Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, called the creation of the body an important and fundamental move toward boosting the economy.
He identified missed opportunities, administrative corruption, extortion and lack of coordination between the government and the private sectors as the main problems. He hoped the council would prioritize dealing with the problems. (Pajhwok)