Officials from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Saturday expressed their concerns over a delay in the approval of the national budget by the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament.
The Finance Ministry’s spokesman Shamroz Khan Masjidi said they call on MPs to approve the draft budget ahead of the new fiscal year – which begins on December 22.
According to the ministry, the national budget document was sent to the parliament at least one month ago; however, the lawmakers have not decided on it so far.
“We hope that the national budget is added in the agenda of the Wolesi Jirga sessions so that we can have an approved budget ahead of the fiscal year,” Masjidi said.
Meanwhile, a member the finance and budget commission of the Wolesi Jirga said the budget document is under assessment by the commission and that it will be approved in the near future.
“Work is underway on the budget document. We hold daily sessions on it. Hopefully, its approval will not take more time,” said Mohammad Azim Mohseni, head of finance and budget commission of the Wolesi Jirga.
The Ministry of Finance has allocated AFs 399 billion for the 1398 fiscal year’s budget, 69 percent of which has been allocated for the standard budget while the remaining 39 percent has been allocated for the development budget.
According to the ministry, from the AFs 399 billion, AFs 275 billion will be allocated to the standard budget and the remaining will be put aside for the development budget.
The MoF figures show that 51 percent of the budget will be funded by foreign aid while 49 percent of it will be funded by national revenue.
The MoF last week said that so far this year, government’s budgetary units have spent almost 75 percent of their development budgets.
The MoF spokesman said that by the end of the year, development budget spending will reach at least 80 percent.
He said that this year, government has managed to collect over 174 billion AFs from domestic revenues which also surpasses the previous year’s target.
Masjidi said that along with an increase in budget spending this year, government has been able to increase revenue collections from domestic resources by 14 percent compared to a year before.