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Afghanistan: Governers Promise To Pay Customs Revenues To Center

Kabul, 20 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Afghan provincial governors today promised to deliver millions of dollars of customs revenue owed to the central government. Presidential adviser Zalmai Hewadmal said all the 12 governors collecting customs revenues signed an agreement with Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai.

Karzai held a preliminary meeting with the governors yesterday at which he told them that payment of taxes to Kabul was essential and warning of "serious action" against anyone who failed to deliver them.

The meeting came after Karzai on 18 May threatened to quit unless unruly provinces toed the central government line.

Afghanistan's Finance Ministry says customs revenues exceeded half a billion dollars last year, but that only $80 million reached the central government in Kabul.