Afghan Finance Ministry looking at agriculture and mining sectors for revenue boost
The Afghan Ministry of Finance (MoF) has expressed optimism about progress in the mining and agricultural sectors to compensate for the loss of revenue in the first three months of this year’s fiscal year.
According to the Ministry officials, collection of revenue has fallen by 7% i.e. two billion Afghanis short of its original prediction in the first three months of this fiscal year.
The Ministry had intended to collect 133bn Afghanis in domestic revenue during the first three months of the new fiscal year, but it managed to gather only around 100bn Afghanis.
As a result of the budget shortfall, the Afghan government called on donor countries for an emergency financial aid of USD 537mn.
MoF spokesperson Abdul Qader Jeelani said the government would try to compensate for the lag in revenue by using agricultural products and mine extraction to increase revenue.
He added that the public revenue stream in the first three months of this year was considerably higher than what was collected in the same period last year.
In the meantime, a number of lawmakers and analysts have slammed the government for widespread graft and incompetency in monitoring customs departments.
Earlier this month, the Japanese government pledged USD 50mn in response to the urgent request from the Afghan government which faces its unprecedented financial constraint in years. Japan is providing USD 50mn from its Supplementary Budget FY 2014 through the Recurrent Cost Window of Afghanistan Reconstruction trust Fund (ARTF) to contribute to the Afghan government’s operating budget to pay salaries of civil servants including teachers and health workers so that the government can continue its duty to serve the public.
Two policemen in eastern Nuristan province have been arrested with 9mn AFN stolen from a branch of Da Afghanistan Bank.
Two-hundred apprentices started the first day of studies in the Oil & Gas Institute in Mazar- Sharif on Sunday. Last