The government has stopped all procurement processes and the budget for development projects due to a reduction in its revenues and an increase in expenses of the security forces, the Ministry of Finance said.
The ministry said that based on the decision, the budget for "optional projects" has been stopped. Optional projects, the ministry said, are implemented by the government but are funded by donors.
“The electronic identity cards and passport services, as well as the payments of civil service employees and other services by the government, will continue as normal,” said Rafiq Tabi, spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.
The decision to stop development projects will harm the economy of the country, a lawmaker said, criticizing the government for delay in sending the report of its mid-year review of the budget.
“If they want to continue normal services in the security sector as well as in passport and electronic identity cards, they should stop the budget for development projects for the next year,” said Jawed Safi, member of the finance and budget committee of the parliament.
Sources have said that the government’s revenues have reduced as six customs offices have fallen to the Taliban in recent weeks. Analysts said the government needs to implement plans to return the development projects to normal.
“The fact that they have stopped the development projects is itself considered an achievement for the Taliban,” a university lecturer and analyst, Sayed Massoud, said.
The budget for the current fiscal year is over 473 billion Afs (nearly $6 billion), including 311 billion Afs ($4 billion) for the regular budget and 162 billion Afs ($2 billion) for the development budget.