The Afghan government has allocated Afs4.3 billion ($53.7 million) of a total of Afs6.5 billion ($81.2 million) budget which was allocated for implementation of 154 development projects around the country, lawmakers found.
The decision was made last week when the Ministry of Finance reviewed the mid-year budget and sent it to the parliament for approval, the deputy head of the parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee, Baktash Eshchi, said.
According to the Ministry of Finance, government has allocated Afs124 billion ($155 million) for the development budget.
The upcoming presidential elections budget has been estimated at $149 million. The Afghan government has vowed to pay $90 million of the budget. The remaining $59 million will be paid by the international community.
Some MPs opposed the move by the government.
“The Ministry of Finance should provide the budget for elections from other resources. Spending development projects’ budget in elections is not possible,” the first deputy speaker of the parliament, Amir Khan Yar, said.
“This is one of the serious concerns of Finance and Budget Commission and the parliament and we will not agree on it,” said Mohammad Azim Mohseni, head of the parliament’s Finance and Budget Commission.
The Ministry of Finance rejected the claim by MPs and said the election budget will not be taken from the development projects budget.
“No project has been removed from the national budget. Instead, Afs3 billion ($37.5 million) has been added to the development budget,” the Finance Ministry’s spokesman Shamroz Khan Masjidi told TOLOnews on Saturday.