The Budget and Financial Committee of the Afghan parliament on Saturday warned that they will refer acting Finance Minister Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi to the Attorney General’s Office if he refuses to provide a satisfactory explanation to them about violations in the budget and unaccountable spending on his foreign trips.
The committee members said they will ask Mr. Qayoumi to testify before them, otherwise, they will announce their decision without taking his testimony into account.
“This is concerning for us because we (the country) are facing economic problems but someone has been given a blank check,” a member of the committee MP Zahir Salangi said.
“Lots of money has been spent. People should know why and how it was spent,” another MP Mohammad Mirza Katawazi said. “And if it was in contravention of the law, the only option for the parliament will be to refer the finance minister to the Attorney General’s Office.”
A member of a monitoring organization said that refusing to answer questions will raise questions about the transparency of the government.
“A lack of a response by the Presidential Palace about expenses of out of the budget is in contravention of the law and this shows that the government is not ready to be accountable and responsive to the people,” said Mohammad Ikram Afzali, head of Integrity Watch Afghanistan.
But the Presidential Palace said the government is ready for explanation.
“All the trips are official and he (Qayoumi) briefs the president (Ashraf Ghani) about all his trips,” said the deputy spokesman for President Ghani, Dawa Khan Minapal.