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Afghanistan's Assembly Rejected 1391 Budget Plan

in Afghan Business

Afghanistan's Assembly Rejected 1391 Budget Plan

Afghanistan’s House of Representatives has declined the budget for fiscal year 1391 due to “imbalances” in the budget.  The budget has disregarded allocations for the development of different provinces of Afghanistan, according to the members of the House. Moreover, adequate funding has not been taken into consideration for the health and education sectors of the country.

The Assembly also objected the fourteen million dollars, 1.6% of the total budget, allocated to secure and advance the affairs of the country’s presidency.

Earlier, the Afghan Senate also referred to the budget proposal as “unfair” and called on the Minister of Finance, Mr. Omar Zakhilwal, to provide an explanation for the proposed budget.

The budget is comprised of USD 4.8 billion in total, including USD 2.7 billion related to the re-current budget and the rest to the development budget.

One of the main reasons why the House rejected the budget plan is the unfair allocation of funds, especially for the development of other provinces in Afghanistan. The House brought up Daikandi province in Central Afghanistan as an example. According the members of the Assembly, the mentioned province is in dire need of road construction and implementation plans; however, the current budget has paid less attention to this issue.

Ministry of Finance had said before, in response to these criticisms, that implementation of large projects, including road construction and electricity production, in different provinces are not equally possible.

Mr. Zakhilwal, in a Senate meeting, said: “Projects that generate employment, projects that promise economic growth, projects that enable a country to become self-sufficient, projects for basic infrastructure (such as, highways, power generation projects and dams), cannot be implemented simultaneously in all provinces.”

The members also raised concerns regarding the portion of the budget allocated for the security of the office of administrative affairs and secretariat to the president. The Afghan government says that the protection of the presidency and its senior members of the government is the first priority; hence, substantial money should be allocated for this regard. Furthermore, approximately 3000 individuals employed to maintain security are paid from this budget.

The Parliament also said that about 14 ministries have already consumed less than 40% of their development budget, and they all should give an explanation to the Parliament regarding their spending.

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