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Afghanistan’s Private Sector Warns of Economic Collapse, Calls on US to Release Frozen Assets

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI), Afghanistan Chamber of Mines and Industry (ACMI) – in a press conference in Kabul warned of economic collapse unless the country’s frozen reserves are released, reported Tolo News.

Kabul: Afghans wait in front of a bank as they try to withdraw money in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. AP/PTI Photo

Kabul: Afghanistan’s private sector on Monday warned that the country would plunge into an economic crisis and called on the US to release its frozen assets.

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI), Afghanistan Chamber of Mines and Industry (ACMI) – in a press conference in Kabul warned of economic collapse unless the country’s frozen reserves are released, reported Tolo News.

The private sector representatives called the freeze of Afghanistan’s reserve by the United States is contrary to the humanitarian laws and called on the United Nations to defend the rights of the people of Afghanistan in addition to the work it is doing for attracting humanitarian support for Afghanistan.

According to the private sector officials, in the last one month due to disruption in banking systems between Afghanistan and international banks, all the financial transactions has stopped and if this continues the private sector will face severe recession, reported Tolo News.

READ MORE: Afghanistan: Healthcare System On The Verge Of Collapse After Foreign Donors Withdraw Funds

The officials of the private sector also said currently the international community and the former Afghan government owes billions of AFS from Afghan contractors and if that money is not paid, the contractors will face recession.

The officials also said so far, they have lost hundreds of millions of dollars due to the freezing of Afghanistan assets and the disruption in the banking system.

“We call on the United States and the world to solve the issue with the frozen assets because that money belongs to the people of Afghanistan. If you have political issues with the government or some people, you should not take people’s money hostage,” ACCI acting Director Yunus Mohmand said.

“In the last one month, we even have been unable to take out one cent from our accounts. The plan that allows people to withdraw USD 200 each week, may work for ordinary people, but businessmen cannot do business with USD 200 each week. We cannot withdraw millions of dollars by withdrawing USD 200 each week.

READ MORE: As Taliban Continues Its Hardline Stance Uncertainty Looms Over Women’s Future In Afghanistan

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The international community please do not pave the way for worsening of the situation,” Khan Jan Alokozay, a member of ACCI said. Officials of ACMI said most of the factories are facing serious financial shortage and raw materials because they are unable to withdraw money adding that in the last one month over million labourers have not been paid, reported Tolo News.

“In the last one month, we have not paid the wages of our workers. In my own factory, 700 people work and I only have been able to give each 5,000 Afghani to buy the basic needs of their families. With this situation, how we can work? Is this not paving the way for our recession?

The world helped us in the past 20 years to grow, and now their wrong policies pave the way for our collapse,” ACMI Director Shirbaz Kaminzada said.

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