Kawun Kakar, the managing partner of KA, participated in the Asian Development Bank’s Private Sector Development Workshop on July 31, 2017 and in a joint meeting with the Finance Ministry on August 1, 2017. The purpose of the meeting was to meet with the private sector in Afghanistan and provide a workshop for large-scale companies that are interested to partner with ADB’s Private Sector Department. The mission also met with Government of Afghanistan officials and some private sector companies to exchange views and ideas on ADB’s engagement in the private sector in Afghanistan. The Private Sector Operation Department provided an overview of its activities, experience in Afghanistan other countries, and the opportunities for collaboration with the private sector.
The Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced a 4-day trade and investment show to be held in New Delhi, India from September 27 through September 30, 2017. The Passage to Prosperity: India-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Show will feature Afghan and international companies and organizations from the economic growth, agriculture, health, education, and energy sectors. The event aims to strengthen economic bonds between the two countries by introducing Indian companies to potential opportunities and business partners in Afghanistan. A Kakar Advocates team will be on-site for the conference. For more information and registration click here.
Kakar Advocates Managing Partner Kawun Kakar, Senior Counsel Thomas Kraemer and local scholar Homayoun Raoofi recently completed an academic paper entitled “Evolution of the Executive Branch in Afghanistan: A Look Back and Recommendations on the Way Forward.” The paper was published by the Afghanistan Research Evaluation Unit, a leading research institute in Afghanistan. Mr. Kakar was honored at a conference on August 21, 2017, co-sponsored by AREU and the United States Institute of Peace to commemorate the publication. […]
The conference took place at the Government Media and Information Center in Kabul. Sarwar Danish, the Second Vice President of Afghanistan and a himself a noted scholar of the Afghan Constitution, delivered the keynote address before Mr. Kakar made some remarks regarding how the executive branch evolved over time into the current National Unity Government framework. Mr. Kakar’s observations were based, in part, on his own personal participation in the process that led to the ratification of the 2004 Constitution. See Summary of Paper | See Full Paper[Hide Details]
All companies bidding for U.S. Government contracts in Afghanistan are familiar with the vendor-vetting system known as the Joint Contingency Contracting System (JCCS). All would-be contractors must register through JCCS. Once registered, companies are investigated and assigned a security rating; a negative rating results in a company being ineligible for base access and, therefore, disqualified from bidding on contracts. It now appears that prime contractors must be concerned not only with their own security rating, but also the rating of their designated subcontractors. […]
In a recent decision, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (the office that oversees government contracting) upheld the decision of a government contracting officer who declared a prime contractor non-responsible because one of its proposed subcontractors was ineligible for base access. The prime contractor in question submitted a bid that was determined to be technically acceptable and the lowest cost. However, prior to awarding the contract, the contracting officer checked the status of a proposed subcontractor in JCCS, and found that the subcontractor was not base eligible (i.e., the subcontractor was blacklisted).The contracting officer informed the prime contractor that it had been found non-responsible based solely on the status of its subcontractor, and awarded the contract to another bidder. The prime contractor protested the decision. The GAO denied the protest in June 2017, citing the contracting officer’s broad discretion in force protection matters.
Note that the GAO did not say that the prime contractor would be disqualified in all such cases. Here, the contracting officer specifically referred to the fact that the subcontractor was a “major” subcontractor and that “substantial subcontracting” was anticipated in the proposal. A different result may occur where the offending subcontractor does not figure as prominently in the proposal. Nevertheless, the case may serve as a cautionary tale for prime contractors whose bids contain a high level of subcontractor activity. [Hide Details]
The Ministry of Finance launched online services for large taxpayers on August 23, 2017. The large tax payers (companies with annual revenue in excess of AFN 300 million), instead of going to the Revenue Department, can download the Taxpayers Specifications Form from the Revenue Department’s website and send back the filled form online. This system provides many facilities to create efficiency in administrative processes. According to Mr. Zadran, Director General of the Revenue Department, by next year, small and medium taxpayers will also benefit from this service. Kakar Advocates is closely monitoring changes in Revenue Department procedures.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has proposed a series of amendments to the Law on Travel and Residence of Foreign Nationals in Afghanistan, in order to attract foreign investment and provide facilities for the transit of businessmen and investors. These amendments are aimed to support the private sector and strengthen the relations between merchants.
These amendments would make a number of significant changes, including extending the validity period of a visa to three years with multiple entry, allowing for issuance of a visa upon arrival to foreign investors who provide appropriate documents, and a reducing the fee of a business visa. […]
The amendments propose the following changes:
Business visa for one month and single entry for $100 would change to three months with multiple entry for $40.
Three months business visa with triple entry for $200 would change to six months with multiple entry for $80.
Six months business visa with multiple entry for $400 would change to one year with multiple entry for $160.
One year business visa with multiple entry for $800 change to 2 years with multiple entry for $250.
The fee for extending a three years business visa would change from $50 to $15 per month.
The above mentioned amendments are proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has been approved by the Cabinet and will go to Parliament for the consideration.[Hide Details]
The Cabinet of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan approved a new Hydrocarbons Law in an extraordinary session on Monday, September 4th 2017. Pursuant to articles 9 and 149 of the Constitution, the Law has been enacted to meet the following objectives:
Regulating the affairs related to the State’s ownership and control over hydrocarbons resources.
Preservation, utilization and granting of concession rights.
Implementation and enforcement of hydrocarbons contracts.
Establishing a licensing regime for exploration, development, production and transportation activities.
Establishing the Afghanistan Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (AOGRA).
The Law regulates all upstream, midstream and downstream operations in the hydrocarbons sector. Moreover, enactment of this law is expected to attract more private investment in the oil and gas industry of Afghanistan. The Law replaces the previous Law of Petroleum and Gas (Hydrocarbons).
The Regulation on Establishment and Operations of Civil Aviation Companies was endorsed through a presidential decree in accordance with the provisions of article 8 (2) of Law on Civil Aviation. This law was published on July 11, 2017 (20/04/1396) with the Official Gazette No. 1263. This regulation was approved with the purpose of obtaining the following objectives:
Regulating the matters related to establishment of aviation companies.
Paving the ground for the oversight of aviation companies’ activities in accordance with the national and international standards.
Ensuring the security of the national flights in accordance with the norms of the International Civil Aviation Union.
Control and inspection of the establishment and activities of civil aviation companies.
The Law on Protection of Domestic Industries was published in the Official Gazette No. 1264 on July 12, 2017 (21/04/1396). This law was enacted in accordance with Articles 10 and 13 of the Constitution for the following purposes:
To develop, protect, encourage and support the domestic industry.
To set out the protection rules and regulations in compliance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
The Standardization Law was published in the Official Gazette No. 1264 on July 12, 2017 (21/04/1396). This law addresses the establishment and development of the national infrastructure, quality improvement of the business goods (imports and exports), development of the products the process of product development, protection of environment and consumers’ rights, as well as the encouragement of the private sector in order to contribute to the process of standardization.
President Ghani said more dams will be built in Herat province. This will help boost the economy of both the province and the country. The damns will be built in western Herat province. President Ghani said the total value of the contract is expected to be around $5 million.
The Office of the President in a meeting unveiled that 3 contracts with a total value of 9 billion Afghanis are approved. One of the contracts is for the construction of Qaisar – Laman Ring Road, which is worth 6 billion Afghanis. The ring is in Badghis province which plays a key transit role in the country, with the funding of the project coming from the Asian Development Bank and the Ministry of Public Works implementing the project. This project is for two and half years. The first phase of this project is expected to be implemented by Indian firm and the second phase is subcontracted to a Chinese firm.
Anna is a German lawyer who recently joined Kakar Advocates. She has years of experience in a wide range of legal matters, and she also worked in Afghanistan for six years in the legal sector. Although Ms. Lengsfeld has temporarily returned to Germany, she is still interested to be involved in Afghanistan legal matters. Kakar Advocates is pleased to have her as Of Counsel.
Meelad has joined Kakar Advocates as an Associate Attorney. He has worked with both public and private sectors in Afghanistan. He served as a legal advisor to the Minister of Energy and Water on transboundary water issues, and as Head of Water Law for over 5 years. Kakar Advocates is pleased to have him as a member of the team.
Ajmal has joined Kakar Advocates as Office Manager/Legal Analyst. He has an extensive amount of experience in office management, staff development & training, client relations, teambuilding, and other administrative and financial matters. He has several years of work experience in different law firms. Kakar Advocates is pleased to have his assistance.
Sher Khan has joined Kakar Advocates as a Tax Specialist. He has significant experience in managing and preparing financial reports based on international standards. Sher Khan has knowledge of audit procedures and internal control systems, and has also worked in government and non-government organizations and is aware of the different procedures. Kakar Advocates is glad to have him as a part of the team.
KAKAR ADVOCATES is a full-service law firm based in Kabul, Afghanistan, with U.S. and Afghan licensed attorneys representing prominent international and national clients.
“This standout firm provides a wide range of commercial services, including legislative, tax and labor advisory work for foreign contractors and insurance companies. The team works closely with offshore international counsel on both major projects and general corporate advisory matters.”