NNI, April 11, 2012
Afghanistan: Foreigners blamed for graft in reconstruction schemes
Kabul—A senior advisor to President Hamid Karzai blamed foreigner contractors for rampant corruption in reconstruction projects, which had also led to inferior quality infrastructure jobs. “For example, when there is embezzlement of $100 in a development project, 80 percent of it will go to foreigners,” Mohammad Yousuf Pashtun, told a press conference in Kabul.
The quality of project suffers when the schemes changed hands between subcontractors, which also resulted in most funds not being spent, he said. “In Kandahar about $160 (7,960 afs) were allocated for one cubic metre for a road construction project, but when I talked to the implementer he said he was suppose to work on the road at $42 per metre,” Pashtun said.
Since there are a large number of people not involved in any corruption, they should be selected to form a “transparent and authorised” group to stem misappropriation of funds, he added. Also present at the press meet was Minister of Public Works Najibullah Awzhan, who criticised the quality of development and construction projects. Primary reasons for inferior quality works is due to speed in implementation, wrong design, usage of low quality raw materials, problems in signing contracts, not considering capacity of private companies and lack of specialists in companies, Awzhan said.
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