New Delhi [India], December 9 (ANI): India has been engaged with Afghanistan in a development partnership that includes more than 500 projects spread across each of the 34 provinces of the country in critical areas, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Friday.
"India has been engaged in a development partnership with Afghanistan, which includes more than five hundred projects spread across each of the 34 provinces of the country in critical areas of power, water supply, road connectivity, healthcare, education, agriculture, and capacity building. The vast majority of the projects committed to by the Government of India in Afghanistan have been completed and handed over," Muraleedharan said in response to questions asked in Lok Sabha, according to the press statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs.
He also said that the vast majority of the projects committed to by the Indian government in Afghanistan have been completed and handed over, according to the statement.
In response to the question of whether the India-Afghanistan strategic partnership agreement was signed in the year 2011, MoS Muraleedharan said, "India and Afghanistan signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) in Oct 2011. SPA provides for assistance to help rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure and institutions, educationtechnical assistance to re-build indigenous Afghan capacity in different areas."Earlier, in November, the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (MUDH) of the Islamic Emirates said that India may restart 20 stalled projects in Afghanistan. The ministry further said that charge d'affaires, Bharat Kumar, expressed India's interest in improving relations and the resumption of Delhi's projects in Afghanistan, reported Tolo News.
Kumar made the remarks in a meeting with the Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Hamdullah Nomani.
The agency quoting the MUDH Ministry said, "It is expected that India will resume work on at least 20 projects in several provinces of the country. Kumar made the remarks in a meeting with the Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Hamdullah Nomani, in Kabul.
"Projects they were implemented during the former government but were delayed due to political changes or other issues--they are now interested in resuming these projects, said Mohammad Kamal Afghan, a spokesman for the MUDH.
Economists said they believe that the implementation of the projects will facilitate job opportunities and boost development in the country, reported Tolo News.
"The resumption of these projects can also create job opportunities for the people and it can promote people's income and drive Afghanistan out of political isolation," said Darya Khan Baheer, an economist.
"The restart of these projects will decrease the level of poverty and unemployment," said Nazkamir Ziarmal, an economist.The Pajhwok Afghan News meanwhile said that Urban Development and Land Affairs Acting Minister Mawlavi Hamdullah Nomani had urged the Indian business community to invest in the urban development sector of Afghanistan.
On its Twitter handle, the Ministry wrote that acting Minister Nomani met the charge de affairs of the Indian embassy in Kabul. During this visit, the acting Minister Nomani said: "The Indian businessmen can invest in the urban and housing sector, especially in the New Kabul City project".
Numani further added, "India implemented some projects in Afghanistan in the past, while some of them remained incomplete due to non-payment". He asked the Indian government to clear its stance about the incomplete projects as well. (ANI)