Acting Minister of Finance Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi was summoned by a committee of the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament, to report to lawmakers on accusations of his embezzlement of billions of Afghanis from the last fiscal year’s government budget.
He was criticized by some legislators for not responding to their questions.
“The questions raised by the Chiefs Committee of the House require a clear response… The finance minister and his colleagues and the audit office should respond to these queries,” said Sediq Ahmad Osmani, a member of the Financial and Budget Committee of the House.
Other MPs criticized the Chiefs Committee of the Wolesi Jirga and the administrative board for not being clear when they summoned Mr. Qayoumi that he would be required to respond to the lawmakers’ questions. The MPs were divided over the issue during a Monday session.
“Some articles of the House regulations have been violated. The letter has been sent for summoning (the acting minister),” said Azim Mohseni, head of the Financial and Budget Committee.
“The Afghan president has made fourteen violations in the financial statement of fiscal year 1397,” said Rahila Salim, an MP.
But Qayoumi said he was only summoned to the House to make a statement, and that he was not prepared to respond to the lawmakers’ questions.
“I made my preparations for a “hearing” session. If you want a “briefing session,” send me your questions and we will prepare for it and will come back,” he responded.
The lawmakers finally decided to summon the acting finance minister during the next general session of the House.
This comes as the MPs assess the financial statement for fiscal year 1397 (2017-2018) and as they work on the approval of the draft budget for fiscal year 1399 (March 2020 to March 2021).