Plan devised to address fertiliser factory problems

By Zainab Muhammadi May 20, 2010 - 16:32

KABUL (PAN): The Ministry of Mines has sent a delegation to northern Balkh province where workers at a fertiliser plant are threatening to protest unless the factory is upgraded.

Two days ago, workers at the plant in Dehdad district asked the government to reconstruct and expand the plant which is on the verge of closure, saying they would protest until their demands were met.

The Ministry of Mines had devised a plan for the expansion and reconstruction of the factory, a spokesman for the ministry, Jawad Omar, said on Thursday.

He added a delegation of senior officials had been sent to the district to evaluate the problems facing the workers and submit a report within a week.

Workers fear the factory will close as it production has decreased and it is run down.

They used to produce 600 tonnes of chemical fertiliser in 24 hours, but now only produce 90 tonnes in the same period, workers say.

Muhammad Aslam, who works in the factory, said thousands of bags of fertiliser are lying in the factory and cannot be sold.

"Slow production and not selling of the produce is leading to the closure of the factory," he said.

A factory official, Muhammad Jora Arkeen, acknowledged the problems.

He said 400,000 tonnes of fertiliser remained unsold in the market as they could not compete on price with imported fertiliser.

Head of the factory, Ghulam Ali Joshan, said he hoped the delegation could help with their concerns.


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