MPs Call for Better Oil and Gas Management
KABUL – Members of the Lower House on Sunday called for a major improvement in the management of the oil and gas market in Afghanistan by the Oil and Gas Directorate, which they said was failing to keep the price of fuel reasonably low. A number of MPs emphasized that corruption was the major hindrance to the Enterprise supplying oil and gas in accordance with desired prices. These members said that the Ministry of Commerce and Industries should supply oil and gas at reasonable price to the market, and should spur healthy competition within the industry.
“Oil and Gas Directorate has never met its promises, and people are facing problems with the current rates of gas,” MP and Economic Commission member Fatima Aziz said. “If they can’t control the market and can’t be beneficial to people, then they should be folded.”
The comments come as the winter months move in and Afghans all around the country look to heat their homes and businesses. With the demand for fuel on the rise, the market prices for fuel have proven volatile, which MPs on Sunday blamed on the Oil and Gas Directorate. “The Ministry of Commerce and Industries should take the Directorate of Oil under control so that the market is controlled,” Herat MP Ghuma Farood Majroh said. “The Directorate of oil needs to be managed and through that, the market as well.”
Officials at the Ministry of Commerce and Industries acknowledged the failures of the Directorate and echoed the MPs called for a stronger role in oversight and investment into the fuel market. “Oil Directorate needs to be stronger, and must be paid attention,” Private Sector Deputy Mutasei Kumaki said.
“Currently, the presence of the Oil Directorate is less than 2 percent in the market and we want it to have a bigger role, at least 20 percent.” Officials at the Ministry of Finance said that the Oil Directorate can’t meet all the demands of the market alone, but competes alongside the private sector. (Tolonews)