Afghan customs revenue has declined due to corruption and embezzlement to 10 billion afs in the past six months, a number of lawmakers and businessmen said on Wednesday.
“There is corruption at customs across Afghanistan. Unless we institutionalize a system, I don’t think that the individuals may be able to bring change, there is need for a system to prevent it,” said Azim Kibrzani, a member of parliament.
But, the Afghan Ministry of Finance has said that custom revenues have slumped by 20 percent because of the imports reduction.
“We noted a 20 percent cut in the imports volume, the borders were closed, but as the situation gets normal, we hope to cover this drop in the remaining six months,” said Shamroz Khan Masjidi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.
But, lawmakers in the parliament have said that customs revenue continued to decline since past two years due to the existence of corruption and embezzlement at customs.
The Finance Ministry says that restrictions imposed on business activities by various countries have led to a reduction in imports. 
“Kandahar customs ask for 200,000 to 250,000 as a bribe,” said Sayed Ehsan Kohdani, a trader.
“the customs law should be implemented to prevent stealing. Over the past two years, stealing has increased unprecedentedly compared to the past,” said Abdul Jabbar Totakhel, a trader.

Customs were the only sector that failed to achieve its set revenue target last year.
“The Ministry of Finance failed to achieve its revenue collection targets last year. At the end of the year, the Finance Ministry resorted to some non-transparent actions including the transfer of money from the central bank,” said Naser Taimoori, a researcher of Integrity watch Afghanistan (IWA).



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