The Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Sunday tabled next year’s national budget to the Meshrano Jirga (the Upper House of Parliament) for approval.
Once approved by the senate, the budget will be tabled before the Wolesi Jirga (the Lower House of Parliament) for approval by MPs.
Acting Finance Minister Mohammad Humayun Qayumi said the draft budget has been drawn up based onexisting standards and includes development projects based on national priorities.
Qayumi said the next fiscal year’s national budget would be 399 billion AFs. Of this 275 billion AFs is the ordinary budget and 124 billion AFs is the development budget.
“A big amount of the development budget has been allocated to five sectors - for security, infrastructure; agriculture and rural development; health and education and governance – and will be 52 billion AFs, 23 billion AFs, 13 billion AFs, 8.8 billion AFs and 6.8 billion AFs respectively,” said Qayumi.
A number of senators meanwhile criticized the finance ministry and said bringing the budget document to the senate was just symbolic, because senators’ recommendations are not taken into consideration.
“I think there is no need for us to discuss the draft budget or send our suggestions to government, because our suggestions are always ignored and the finance ministry has done nothing in this regard (in counting our recommendations),” Mohammad Azim Qoyash, a senator said.
Senate speaker Fazl Hadi Muslimyar however asked the relevant commissions to work on the national budget document.
“I think the draft of the national budget has been received by all of you and it should be discussed by the different commissions,” said Muslimyar.
The acting finance minister also said the ministry has from the beginning of the year to now collected over 152 billion AFs and according to him revenue generated will increase to 173 billion AFs by the end of the fiscal year.