Photo: National Statistics and Information Authority

Taliban’s closure of national statistics centres leaves many unemployed

The Taliban has closed down several branches of Afghanistan’s National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA), responsible for issuing ID cards or e-Tazkira, in Kabul, making many employees unemployed.

According to a person familiar with the situation, of the 26 centres in Kabul, only 10 remain open.

In a recent statement, Taliban officials dismissed the NSIA’s Sar-e-Kotal Khairkhana centre and demanded that its more than 40 employees, whose contracts are set to expire next year, clear their outstanding salaries and return the centre properties this week.

When the Taliban swept across Kabul in August 2021, many properties of the NSIA were lost, including laptop computers, cameras, scanners, and biometric devices. The exact number of lost equipment is not known.

Now, the Taliban is demanding that the employees of these centres either purchase the equipment or pay €3,500 in compensation, which the employees cannot afford.

An employee at NSIA said that the issue of missing equipment in these centres was communicated with the Taliban’s Prime Minister’s office, but no decision was made.

However, Mohammad Rafi Halimi, Taliban spokesperson for the NSIA, denied the dismissal of the Authority’s centres in Kabul.