Afghanistan announces record customs revenue collection


The Afghan authorities have announced that they collected £934m in customs revenue in the last fiscal year – nearly £300m more than the previous record.

Customs revenue collection means levies, duties and taxes on goods permitted to be imported and exported in and out of the country.

The Islamic Emirate said the record amount comes despite the fact that it has reduced customs duties on basic food commodities.

The Ministry of Finance said: “The extraordinary increase in customs revenues indicates that right and committed people are assigned for the right jobs, anti-corruption steps have been taken, and there is transparency in the process of collecting revenues.

“To provide good services and more facilities all customs offices are operational 16 to 24 hours per day.

“The Ministry of Finance customs department is especially attempting to modernise systems to provide more facilities and efficiency for the collection of national revenues.”

Earlier this month Transparency International, a Berlin-based corruption watchdog, ranked Afghanistan 150th in its annual corruption perception index 2022 – 24 places higher than under NATO occupation in 2021.

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The ranking seems to confirm widespread anecdotal evidence in Afghanistan that the Islamic Emirate has made significant anti-corruption strides compared to the NATO occupation era when corruption was sky high.

Since liberating the country of foreign occupiers in August 2021, the IEA has reportedly reduced bribery and extortion in public services, which has provided financial lifelines for an isolated government that faces crippling international economic and banking sanctions.

And in January, the World Bank delivered an upbeat assessment of the Afghan economy in the first nine months of the fiscal year 2022, citing high exports, a stable exchange rate and strong revenue collection.

The World Bank assessment noted that inflationary pressure has eased since July of last year, decelerating by half to 9.1 % in November, while most basic food and non-food items remain widely available. The report attributed the decline in inflation to lower global oil and food prices, along with a stable exchange rate.

Afghanistan exported $1.7 billion worth of goods, an increase of approximately 90% compared to the full year 2021, the bank reported. Pakistan, with 65%, and India, with 20%, remain the two main export destinations for Afghan vegetable products, mineral products, and textiles.

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