MPs on Saturday sharply criticized President Ashraf Ghani for not having nominated new ministers for vacant posts and said the continuation of using acting ministers has led to an increase in corruption in government departments.
This comes after Ghani said in a meeting with parliament’s administration board ahead of Nowruz that he would introduce new ministers to parliament in the first week of the new solar year. This has not however happened.
“The continuation of acting ministers is a reason why people’s problems are not being addressed and corruption has increased in ministries,” said Nazifa Zaki, an MP.
“The ministry of higher education and (the ministry of ) education, are both being led by acting ministers; when we go there to solve people’s problem, no one pays attention. Because the ministers have been dismissed and the deputy ministers do not have authority,” said Fatima Aziz, another MP.
Mohammad Sarwar Danish, the Second Vice President, however said soon new ministers would be introduced to parliament.
“Government will in the next few days, along with the nominee for the ministry of mines, introduce other nominees to parliament and we hope parliament cooperates with government in giving confidence votes to the nominees,” Danish said.
A number of MPs meanwhile said the practice of using caretaker ministers has led to an increase in corruption, and that it appears parliament has been unable to convince government to end this trend.
“When the youths go to the ministries to fill out job application forms, they have been told that if you do not know anyone in the ministry, don’t think of getting a job. This has become a tradition,” said Mohammad Akhlaqi, an MP.
“The higher education and education commissions of parliament should investigate the issue and deliver their reports to the next session,” said Mohammad Nazir Ahmadzai, second deputy speaker of parliament.
The ministries of mines; information and culture; and border and tribal affairs have been led by acting ministers for a few months.
In addition to these ministries, seven others ministers were dismissed by parliament four months ago over not spending their development budgets. However, they are still working as acting ministers.