The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Islamic Emirate at a glance

Summary of the most significant accomplishments of the
Islamic Emirate 2022 – 2023

By: Hashmat Nasiri

Part VII

  1. Consumption Standards Determining and assessing the consumption levels of transportation fuels, machinery, power generators, and government office supplies nationwide has been an important aspect of standardization efforts. Over the past year, approximately 2,000 different items have been calibrated according to accepted standards. It should be noted that, following the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate and as a result of efforts in the development of a culture of standardization in the country, the quality of food, petroleum, and construction materials has significantly increased compared to the past. 1. Preventing disorganized urban development With the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate, a serious program has been put in place to prevent unplanned urban construction and development. In the past, due to widespread corruption, most urban areas in the country grew without proper planning, leading to significant damage to organized urban development. The Ministry of Urban Development and Housing of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has taken significant steps not only to prevent unplanned urban development but also to develop renovation plans for areas lacking proper planning. In the past year, 21 renovation plans have been implemented in Herat, Lashkar Gah, Sar-e-Pul, Mazar-e Sharif, Farah, Kunduz, and Khost cities. Furthermore, to ensure reforms and transparency, necessary documentation and records have been prepared for past and future projects more specifically, for the distribution of residential apartments, and a systematic database has been created for government housing complexes. Moreover, during the past year, 18 infrastructure urban development projects have been tailored, aimed at improving urban management-related issues as well as providing necessary facilities to the people. In addition, 27 urban plans have been developed for central and provincial areas, including master plans, national plans, detailed plans, regional plans, and corrective plans. Furthermore, the clearance of state-owned land in the areas of the new Kabul city has also commenced, as per cadastral documents and maps. 2. Transparency in electricity revenue collection In the past, electricity revenue collection lacked transparency, with some influential individuals and companies not paying their dues. There was widespread misuse of electricity. However, with the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate, transparency has been ensured in electricity revenue collection, and outstanding debts from debtors nationwide have been collected. During the past year, a total of 118 million Afghanis were collected from Kabul residents who had not paid their dues for several years. A. Activation of online system Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), in coordination with the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology of the Islamic Emirate, has developed an online system for collecting electricity usage fees, which is now operational in 28 provinces across the country. This measure has eradicated corruption in electricity fee collection and has expedited the handling of customer issues. B. Standardizing electricity meters The installation of non-standard and illegal meters was considered a major obstacle to transparent revenue collection in the electricity sector. Over the past year, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) conducted surveys in Herat, Balkh, Kunduz, Kandahar, Parwan, and Nangarhar provinces, aimed at ensuring transparency and regulating electricity meters of both individuals and large corporations. As a result, more than 106 million Afghanis in electricity fees were recollected due to meter underreporting by consumers. Furthermore, 30-meter bases have been installed to regulate electricity in substations and their distribution to Kabul, Kandahar, Nangarhar, and Paktia provinces, preventing electricity wastage. The launch of public awareness-raising campaigns for collecting unauthorized and illegal electricity connections nationwide has led to a reduction in electricity wastage and an increase in revenue. As a result of these measures, electricity wastage has decreased from 33% to 26% in the past year. 3. Transparency in national revenue collection Acknowledging the negative impact of banking restrictions on national operations and commerce, the Islamic Emirate has successfully provided efficient services in both financial and nonfinancial revenue collection through structural reforms. This achievement is attributed to the recruitment of skilled personnel, improving taxpayer comfort, and enhancing transparency, resulting in increased revenue deposited into the government treasury, which is a significant accomplishment. The Islamic Emirate is committed to ensuring full transparency in governance, particularly in national revenue collection, by employing modern electronic systems like ASYCUDA, FMIS, and other international systems in customs operations. These systems have yielded positive outcomes and are considered as major achievements in streamlining transparency processes. In the past year, provincial customs offices have been equipped with security chambers to enable central management to easily monitor all flows and gain access. Additionally, revenue collection processes for railway services have been integrated with banking systems such as CBS and RMIS, facilitating efficient revenue collection. 4. Efficiency in the examination process In order to increase efficiency in examination processes and ensure transparency and reforms in this field, a strategic plan has been formulated and implemented by the National Examination Authority (NEA). As there was no preexisting plan in this field, the development of the strategic plan is considered a major milestone in setting the work direction of this entity. Furthermore, to standardize systems in the examination domain, the existing procedures and regulations have been reviewed, and work has commenced on creating comprehensive legislation for the National Examination Authority. This initiative aims to define all stages related to examinations, and the relevant state organizations involved in this process. A. Renewing examination system Due to the outdated nature of the current entrance examination system known as “Kankur” in the country and the ongoing changes and necessary conveniences being introduced globally in this field, the Islamic Emirate is working to create various facilities by renewing the entrance examination system. By renewing the system, a secure, standardized, and international system comprising various exams, including online and digital exams, is being developed. B. Enhancing the question bank The question bank is the most crucial component of examinations. Many participants have complained about issues such as receiving incorrect types of questions, inaccurate translations, question difficulty, and other related concerns. The Islamic Emirate has made efforts to address these issues and implement reforms, resulting in significant improvements over the past year. Experienced instructors have been assigned to each subject, and appropriate questions have been prepared in Dari and Pashto, as well as in English, and Arabic languages. It is worth mentioning, that for the entrance examination of the last year, questions tailored to Pashto and Dari languages have been developed based on the existing educational curriculum. In addition, arrangements have been made for foreign applicants with questions available in English and Arabic languages, marking a notable achievement in this area. Furthermore, to facilitate Konkur participants, the allotted time has been extended and the examination duration has been increased from two hours to four hours, allowing ample time for Konkur participants to complete their questions. C. Biometric data registration The biometric data registration program has been well executed across all examinations. In the past year, biometric data for over 350,000 participants has been successfully registered for all exams, and all Konkur participants have been recheck at the exam venues. It is worth mentioning that as a result of implementation of this system, there has been a significant prevention of cheating and misuse of rights, marking it as a notable accomplishment in this area.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.