Fuel prices double in Bamyan


BAMYAN CITY (PAN): A halt to work on coalmines has lead to a hundred percent increase in fuel prices especially coal, in the central province of Bamyan, residents complained on Thursday.

The price of per seven kilograms of coal has increased from 30 afghanis ($0.57) to 70 afs due to the closure of a coalmine in the Koh Mard district of the province.

“I can’t afford to buy fuel at such high prices. If the current trend persists, we would not be able to use firewood for heating this coming winter,” one resident said.

“I fear losing my children. I toil all day long to eke out a livelihood for my family. It’s difficult for me to buy coal, firewood or oil,” remarked Mohammad Jan.

Currently, per seven kilograms of firewood accounts for 100 afs, the same amount of wood for 70 afs and a litre of diesel for 67 afs, compared to 58 afs last month.

With the winter drawing closer, wood prices might shoot up to 150 afs and coal to 100 afs, warned a firewood seller, Abdul Samad.

Hotelier Mohammad Raza Karbalaee said he purchased a 42-kg bag of coal for 400 afs, compared to last year’s price of 200 afs. “If the municipality doesn’t increase food prices, we will have to do so or close our hotel.”

But Mayor Eng. Khadim Husain Fitrat said they had little say in a free market economic system. The rate of coal had jumped due to the closure of the mine in the district by the ministry concerned, he added.

“The people of Bamyan are poor, so the government should reopen the two coalmines to resolve their problem,” said a member of provincial council, Haidar Ali Ahmadi.

But a Ministry of Mines spokesman, Jawad Omar, said they had stopped illegal extraction to save the lives of mine workers.


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