Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mustafa Basharat, "AREU cautions against 'hasty' privatisation," Pajhwok, January 8, 2007.

KABUL - The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) has asked the government to focus upon structural reforms instead of rushing towards privatisation of the state-owned enterprises.

A paper released by the AREU on Monday, said the government should reform the laws on investment, improve security and build the infrastructure to attract more investment from the private sector.

The statement said hasty privatisation would not only fail to achieve the desired results but also render about 15,000 people jobless. For this purpose, the government should concentrate upon improving the law and order situation and performance of the units scheduled to be presented for auction.

Improvement in security and condition of the state-owned enterprises would generate more revenues after some time as compared to their privatization at the moment.

But Finance Ministry's spokesman Aziz Shams said there was no haste in the privatisation process. He said everything was going smoothly and all possible efforts were being made to ensure transparency in the process.

Shams said four of the 65 state-owned companies had been sold to private sector through a transparent auction process so far, while 11 more enterprises would be presented for auction in the days ahead.
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