Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Monday called on MPs to approve the 2017 draft budget by the deadline, which is in a week, but there are indications that the lawmakers will reject it.
However, a document seen by TOLOnews shows that more than $11 million USD has been allocated in the draft budget for upgrades to the presidential palace, including the construction of a special presidential kitchen, the painting of the presidential palace, the renovation of roads within the presidential palace compound and the renovation of Gul Khana and Del Kusha palaces.
The construction of the presidential kitchen will cost an estimated $600,000 USD.
Another $3.5 million USD has been allocated for the office of the chief executive.
The current fiscal year will expire within a week.
“It will not be appropriate that we allocate the budget for insecure regions, then the security issues overshadow the spending of the budget and later it leads to the dismissal of the ministers,” said MP Abdul Rauf Enaami.
“Is it good for us to spend eleven million (dollars) on the presidential palace or spend 3.5 million (dollars) of it and put the remaining amount for a production project to create at least 100 jobs so that they can get shelter,” said economic analyst Sayed Massoud.
“Presidential palace is a budget unit for us, budget for it is allocated just like other government institutions, for necessities and on the basis of the budget plan,” said Ajmal Hamid Abul Rahimzai, media advisor to MoF.
Economists have said that presenting an inclusive budget policy and seeking reforms in the budget plan would help government create more jobs and boost national infrastructure development.