A number of MPs in the Afghan parliament criticized the acting finance minister Mohammad Humayun Qayumi for “back-to-back” foreign trips and for “being busy in political activities” instead of focusing on his main duties.
A document seen by TOLOnews shows that Mr. Qayumi has had 10 foreign trips in the past two months.
The document shows that Qayumi has traveled to Fiji, the Netherlands, Brussels (two times), the United States, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Luxemburg between May 2 and July 13.
An MP from Daikundi, Raihana Azad, said that she could not meet Mr. Qayumi in his office despite repeated attempts to discuss with him the budget of Daikundi Airport’s reconstruction project.
“Daikundi Airport is one of the main challenges of the residents. We tried many times along with the provincial governor to meet the [finance] minister but we could not set a meeting,” said Azad.
Qayumi, who appointed as acting minister of finance last July, is also serving as a senior advisor to President Ghani on infrastructures, human resources and technology and as a Ghani’s special advisor for Central Asia affairs.
“Mr. Qayumi is among the figures who have the most support of the president. This ‘endless’ support helps Mr. Qayumi not to be responsive for monitoring institutions including the parliament and even other institutions,” said Abdul Qayum Sajjadi, an MP.
Sources from the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s office said Qayumi has participated only in one meeting of the Council of Ministers since last year.
Based on the law, acting ministers’ period up to two months but Mr. Qayumi has remained in the post for the last one year.
The Finance Ministry's spokesman Shamroz Khan Masjidi said the acting minister is making the foreign trips for official activities.
“The finance minister is often is his office. Sometimes, he travels outside the country for official activities and with the permission of Mr. President [Ashraf Ghani]. He [Qayumi] appoints his deputy as acting minister when he is outside,” said Masjidi.