The worldwide rise in coal prices has made Pakistan turn towards Afghanistan to meet its coal demand. Consequently, coal export to Pakistan has spiked in recent days. The spokesperson for the Ministry of finance, Ahmad Wali Haqmal, reported that around two million tons of coal have been exported to Pakistan worth 4 billion Afghanis. He further added that the ministry had increased tariffs on coal exports by 10 percent.
The domestic impact of this spike in coal export has been in the form of an increase in fuel prices, especially for wood and coal. The Afghan Chamber of Commerce Industries and Mines (ACCI) expressed their concerns in this regard and said that these rising prices are having a negative impact on the manufacturing plants in the country.
Head of the ACCI, Sakhi Ahmad Payman said, “The surge in the exports of coal to Pakistan is good news, but the (local) industry now faces a 100 percent increase in coal prices in domestic markets.” Local traders are complaining that coal export has caused its shortage which automatically increases the price of wood, so much so that it has increased by almost a thousand Afghani per ton.
Afghanistan’s coal mines extended from the Hindu Kush Mountains in Badakhshan province to Herat province. The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum said that currently four local companies in the Northern provinces are engaged in the extraction of coal mines in the country, as the government aims to generate more revenue from its mining sector in the absence of direct foreign funding.