Kabul November 1 2022: The Islamic Emirate officials have appointed a special committee to monitor and manage the country’s coal prices, as winter approaches with millions of people without proper shelter.
According to reports, the committee is under the leadership of First Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
The Kabul Municipality, who also represents the committee, said that around 400,000 tons of coal will be pre-positioned in four zones of the capital to provide residents with their winter needs.
“The responsibility of monitoring and the control of prices was given to the Kabul municipality,” said Niamatullah Barakzai, a spokesman for the Kabul Municipality, as TOLOnews quoted. “We are having daily meetings and will work on certain mechanisms.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) said that currently, one ton of coal “price in the market is over 16,000 Afs”, exclaiming such will be lowered to 9,000 Afs per ton.
“To facilitate our people’s access to heating materials, the Islamic Emirate capped the price of each ton of coal around 9,000 Afs,” said Akhunzada Abdul Salam, a spokesman for the MoCI
The decision came at a time Kabul residents expressed concern over the high price of heating materials, mainly coal, which is widely used to warm living spaces during winter seasons.
Earlier this month, Afghanistan witnessed a significant increase in coal exports to neighboring Pakistan amidst a rise in fuel prices in the international market, according to Afghanistan Chamber of Industries and Mines (ACIM).
While the increase on coal export seems promising as far as trade is concern, majority predicts an unprecedent price hike within the local market that could cost resident a lot more money than it did a few months ago.
Coal in Afghanistan is one of its largest natural resources, where most of its mines are located in northern provinces, including Badakhshan, Takhar, Kuduz, Baghlan, Samangan, Balk, and Sar-e-Pul; as well as in central provinces, including Bamyan, Daikundi, Jawzjan, Badghis and Herat.
Afghanistan holds 73 million tons (MMst) of proven coal reserves as of 2016, ranking 62nd in the world and accounting for about 0% of the world’s total coal reserves of 1,139,471 million tons (MMst), according to Worldometers statistics.
Indigenous coal has been used in Afghanistan for small industry (notably in the manufacturing of cement and textiles, and in food processing), and as a primary source of household fuel in both raw and briquetted forms.