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MPs refuse to endorse next fiscal year’s budget

MPs refuse to endorse next fiscal year’s budget

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Dec 07, 2016 - 18:35

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Balance among provinces has not been observed in next fiscal year’s budget, a number of Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon members said on Wednesday, declining to endorse the accounts.

According to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), about 287 billion afs has been set aside for general expenses and nearly 178 billion afs for development activities in the budget for the new fiscal year that starts from March 29, 2017.

Thirty-two percent of the budget --- 150 billion afs --- would come from domestic revenues and the rest from the international community in aid.

A 36 percent of the budget would go to the security sector, 21 percent to the infrastructure development, 13 percent to education, six percent to agriculture and the rest to other sectors.  

Saleh Mohmmad Saleh, a lawmaker from eastern Kunar province, told Wednesday session said balance had not been considered in preparation of the next year’s budget draft and some provinces had been subjected to discriminatory behavior in sphere of projects.

“Kunar being a deprived province has been not paid any attention in the budget. Funds are allocated in the budget for a few projects that too from the previous year and construction of a hydro-power dam which could resolve problem of half of the country’s people has not been considered at all.”  

Sakhi Mashwani, another public representative from Kunar, said: “Provinces are not treated equally in the budget. People enjoying great power have influenced and diverted most of the budget to their provinces and other provinces have been deprived of their due rights.”

He asked fellow lawmakers not to approve the draft budget because it lacked balance in treating provinces.

Safiya Aiymaq, a lawmaker from Badghis said: “Presidential Palace-based officials spread rumors that the draft budget is delayed by lawmakers due to their conflict with the government over the unseated ministers. But this is a patently wrong thinking.” She called the 1396 solar yearinfo-icon’s budget as flawed one.

According to Aiymaq, the budget has no mention of any useful project for Badghis province, which she said had been deprived of clean drinking water, power, roads and development projects.

She said most projects mentioned in the budget document for Badghis were from last year into the current year.

Wolesi Jirga speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said the budget would be approved when it met people’s needs and was balanced. He said the document needed to be revisited.

“The budget is people’s right and is not taken hostage or delayed by lawmakers. I ask the Wolesi Jirga to read the document carefully and present their views and suggestions to the finance and budget commission of the house.”

sns/ma

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