The rift on the current fiscal year’s budget plan between the government and the parliament has caused salary delays for public servants who haven’t been paid for December.
The budget plan for the current fiscal year that started on Dec. 21, 2020, was rejected by the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament, two times. Lawmakers cited at least a dozen issues for their decision to send back the budget plan to the government for a review.
Lawmakers earlier this week said that the rejection of the budget plan for the second time occurred for many reasons, namely the ambiguity around a Afs15 billion ($ 193.8 million) increase in the ordinary budget for the current fiscal year that started on December 21.
The financial and budget committee of the parliament said that based on the budget plan, the government is removing 13,000 public servants, but it has increased the ordinary budget—from which the salaries of government employees are paid.
The exclusion of 1,131 provincial projects, the allocation of Afs13 billion ($166 million) for the emergency code (an emergency budgetary unit) and the allocation of Afs2 billion ($25.5 million) to the government's Code 91 and 92--also emergency funds--were reasons for concern raised by lawmakers.
The budget for the fiscal year 1400 (2021) that was submitted to the parliament by the government estimated a total of Afs452 billion ($5.8 billion) for this fiscal year.
Some lawmakers claimed that the government has fired a number of employees who in a way had ties with legislators.
“It has been directed to remove lawmakers’ relatives from every office and ministry and should be referred to the attorney general’s office if they have any issue,” said Abdul Sattar Husaini, an MP.”
The Presidential Palace has not commented on the matter.
Legal experts said that delay in salary of those soldiers who are on the frontlines is in contravention of the law.
“Article 98 of the Constitution says that the government should pay public employees from previous (year’s) budget whenever a problem emerges,” said Rohullah Sakhidad, a legal expert.
But a media officer of the Ministry of Finance, Faridullah Nawekht, said the December salary for which documents were sent to the finance ministry has been paid.
Many government employees are only breadwinners for their families. Giti, a government employee, is one of them who supports a six-member family.
“The government employees need to be paid,” Gitti said.
Presidential adviser Waheed Omer last week said the reasons given by the parliament for rejecting the draft budget plan are not legitimate.
He said the government and the parliament should continue their discussions to finalize the budget plan.