The Minister of Mines of Afghanistan, Mr. Waheedullah Shahrani called on the Union Minister of Mines & Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Shri B.K. Handique to invite Indian companies to the global tender floated by Afghanistan Government for allotment of mineral concessions. The tender is open until the second week of January, 2011.
Shri BK Handique expressed his pleasure on the progress made in the field of mining between the two countries since the two leaders met in June this year. He proposed that a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ need to be entered by the two countries to make further progress on the developments already made. Mr. Waheedullah Shaharani accepted the proposal and suggested a draft proposal of ‘MoU’ be sent to them for consideration. It was felt during the meeting that MoU can cover wide range of issues like investment, exploration and capacity building in the field of geo-sciences.
The Afghanistan side also suggested consortium approach by Indian companies for investment in mineral sector. He said that Afghanistan is having sufficient mineral deposits of iron ore, copper, etc. Mr. Waheedullah Shaharani further informed that they have created a specialized Mines Protection Unit and this action should be a key driver for investment in his country. Mr. Waheedullah Shaharani, also requested to India to sponsor scholarships to Afghan nationals in the fields of geology and mining engineering. Mr. Waheedullah Shaharani also raised the point regarding requirement of cement in Afghanistan. He suggested that some Indian companies be persuaded to set up cement plant in his country as the raw materials like lime stone, coal etc. needed for manufacturing of cement is available in Afghanistan and entire production of cement can also be sold there itself.