President Hamid Karzai has directed authorities concerned to investigate how low-quality petroleum products reached Afghanistan and take stringent preventive measures in this regard.
The president also called for activities of ‘so-called’ oil refineries to be investigated, his office said on Thursday. Karzai issued the directives at a meeting with oil and gas importers at the Presidential Palace a day earlier, a statement from the palace said.
Member of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)’s delegation Azarakhsh Hafizi briefed President Karzai about problems facing the oil and gas sector, which he called one of the country’s key sectors.
Hafizi urged the government to establish storage facilities for oil and gas, set up standard oil refineries and give greater importance to monitoring the quality of oil and gas being imported.
Also present at the meeting was Commerce Minister Mohammad Shakir Kargar, who said necessary measures were being taken to curb imports of injurious goods to the Afghanistan market.
Karzai directed the authorities concerned, particularly the Ministry of Commerce, to investigate the imports of low-quality petroleum products and the performance of local oil refineries. He said every necessary measure should be taken to prevent substandard oil imports.
The meeting decided that an international technical team should be given the task of determining the effectiveness of domestic refineries and collecting information on how low-quality products reached Afghanistan.