The acting minister of finance, Khalid Payinda, has left the country due to pressure by the Presidential Palace, sources said, adding that he is not expected to return to Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Finance did not comment on the matter but a letter by the ministry shows that Khalid Payinda has left the country for an official visit and Alam Shah Ibrahimi, the deputy minister of finance for customs, is caretaking the ministry.
“There are some people around the president who are trying to install their favorites in the Ministry of Finance,” said Zalmay Noori, a member of the finance and budget committee of the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament.
A letter seen by TOLOnews shows that Payinda asked two days ago to leave the country, asking his deputy to be appointed as acting minister.
“Appointments in the Ministry of Finance and many positions that have income and are areas for corruption, they have been organized deeply and have had a serious effect on the country’s economy,” said Arif Rahmani, an MP.
A private sector representative said Payinda, who was appointed to the post seven months ago, has left the country as nine main ports – income generating border towns – have fallen to the Taliban, resulting in a 50% decrease in government revenue.
“Six ports, some of them are key, have been lost. Torkham, Hairatan, Ghulam Khan and Angor Ada are still under government control,” said Khan Jan Alokozay, the deputy head of the Afghanistan Chambers Federation.
The Ministry of Finance and the Presidential Palace did not comment on the matter. Some MPs said that political moves in the appointment of acting ministers and full-fledged ministers at the Ministry of Finance led to the decrease in government revenue before it was affected by the fall of border towns to the Taliban.