Railways to bring ‘economic revolution’

Afghan minister predicts “economic revolution” if railway project completed

Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhelwal told journalists today that Afghanistan would experience unprecedented economic development by the implementation and the opening of these railway lines. The finance minister, who left for Tashkent to attend the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank [ADB], said that during his meeting with bank officials he would also try to attract financial assistance to implement the railway project from Mazar-e Sharif [the capital of northern Balkh Province] to Herat [western Afghan Province].

[Finance minister speaking to camera] We are looking for a donor for the Mazar-e Sharif-Herat Province railway project and if the project is completed – and I am sure that the project will be completed over the next five years, God willing – it will make an economic revolution in Afghanistan and the region as a whole.

According to Ministry of Finance officials, besides the ADB, a Chinese company, which has been given the right to extract copper at the Ainak mine in Logar Province, has also promised to construct a railway line from Mazar-e Sharif to Jalalabad [the capital of eastern Nangarhar Province]. According to economists, the construction of railway lines in Afghanistan, which needs hundreds of millions of dollars, will play a key role in the economic development of the country.

Source: BBC Monitoring South Asia. Originally published by Arzu TV, Mazar-i-Sharif, in Dari 1 May 2010.

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