Lack of services in Nangarhar industrial park crippling investors 

The city of Jalalabad, Nangarhar province.

Numerous business owners in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar said this week that the Taliban are not providing adequate services in the province.

Tor Malang, head of the Nangarhar chamber of industry and mines, said that investors in the local industrial park are facing many challenges – including poor road conditions, damaged water systems, and especially a severe shortage of electricity and that the Taliban has not attended to their problems.

Tor Malang added that the lack of services in the Sheikh Misri park is putting potential investors off. He in turn appealed to the Taliban to provide business owners with the necessary services. 

Many factories operate out of the industrial park, but output is hindered by the bad roads and lack of electricity in particular. 

“We have dozens of large and small factories here, they have provided employment to thousands of people. If they [problems] are paid attention, they [factories] can work more, but the main problem is that no one pays attention,” Tor Malang said.

According to him, the ongoing power cuts have led to massive financial losses to factory owners. 

Engineer Qasim, who owns factories at the Sheikh Misri industrial town in Nangarhar, said that the roads leading to this industrial town have been battered and disrupt the operation of the factories.

According to him, the battered roads produce too much dust which affected their production.

Qasim noted that the Taliban must resolve electricity issues as well so that small factories also can resume their operations inside the town.

“There is no electricity, roads are not paved, and there is dust in the working areas. People are not happy to be there because there is no electricity, the factories will close and they will move to the city [Jalalabad],” Qasim added.

Abdul Basir Pacha, head of the Taliban’s industry and trade directorate for Nangarhar, also said that there are no essential services provided to the industrial park.

Pacha stated that the Taliban were not able to address the issues due to a series of problems and but he hopes the issues are resolved soon.

About 350 factories operate inside the Sheikh Misri industrial park, which employ around 8,000 people.

Sources, meanwhile, told Amu TV that the Taliban recently imposed a hefty tax on sugarcane processing factories – which led to the closure of about 45 of these factories.

Afghan investors stated that the Taliban not only failed to fulfill their promise to provide facilities but have also created more obstacles for manufacturers, since their takeover in August 2021.

Economic experts meanwhile said the Taliban needs to support business owners and the more businesses there are, the more job opportunities there will be.