Lawmakers in the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) on Wednesday rejected government’s draft budget for 2017, calling it unbalanced and unprofessional.
Some MPs said that there was no balance regarding the allocation of funds for projects in certain provinces.
The rejection comes on the first day of the new fiscal year.
MPs argued that there are certain issues within the draft budget which need to be tackled by government including the inclusion of money for some suspected ghost projects.
After hours of debates, the lawmakers concluded that they would not approve the budget until government reviews the document and meets their demands.
“You the honorable lawmakers are not it, this is causing corruption in the country,” said MP Munawar Shah Bahaduri.
On the problems regarding the draft budget, lawmakers said some provinces had been allocated an unfair amount of money; that in some instances revenue generation was unclear; that there were more ongoing projects opposed to new projects; that more money needed to be allocated to emergency and miscellaneous categories; that funding had been allocated to suspected ghost projects in the ministry of rural rehabilitation and urban development and that there was a lack of focus on undeveloped provinces.
“There is no balance, neither justice nor transparency in the draft budget,” said MP Ekramuddin Rezazada.
“The recommendations of the representatives on the national issues must be taken into consideration, the joint commission also recommended the budget to be rejected,” said MP Amir Khan Yar.
“We hope to finalize it InshaAllah (God willing) within one or two weeks before the MPs leave for winter recess,” said Finance Minister Eklil Ahmad Hakimi.