Lawmakers in Afghanistan’s parliament on Wednesday agreed to form a commission to probe the reports of alleged embezzlement from Code 91 and Code 92 –two emergency funds--as well as the transfer of 15 billion afghanis from the Da Afghanistan Bank (Central Bank of Afghanistan) to the Ministry of Finance, and, finally, the lack of transparency in the collection of 10 percent levies on telecom services.
The lawmakers stated that the commission will have three months to complete the investigation of the emergency codes.
“Based on Article 89 of the Constitution of Afghanistan, an oversight commission on government actions will be formed and will launch the necessary investigations about the issue,” said Ghulam Farooq Majroh, a member of the Afghan parliament.
The lawmakers have previously accused the government of being involved in embezzlement from Code 91 and Code 92 and also for the transfer of 15 billion afghanis from the central bank to the Ministry of Finance.
“We want this oppressive system to come to an end in the next year’s budget plan,” said MP Ghulam Hussain Naseri.
Codes 91 and 92 are two emergency funds within the government budget that cannot be accessed except by the president’s order. The Presidential Palace and Ministry of Finance have been under scrutiny for channeling money into and out of these funds in order to avoid scrutiny of expenditures.
Recently the budget and finance commission’s called excess expenditures from the funds, and a December 18 statement by members of the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the Afghan parliament, stated that they are concerned about increased deposits of funds into Code 91, which they say is spent on unnecessary projects.
The budget allocated for Code 91 last year was around 1.3 billion afghanis, but the Ministry of Finance, by the order of the president and by amending other codes, increased the overall expenses from the code to 3.2 billion afghanis.
Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA), in a report released on Saturday, said that 267 billion afghanis not originally accounted for in the annual approved budgets was allocated to emergency funds—such as Code 91 and Code 92-- over the past decade.