Ministers and members of parliament say that the use of budgetary Codes 91 and 92—emergency funds—by President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah is not in accordance with the stated purpose of these codes, and that these funds have been enlarged without adhering to the predetermined budget.
Zahid Hamdard, the deputy minister of finance, told Tolonews that Code 91—of which 70 percent is controlled by the president and 30 percent by the chief executive--has been spent on “security, construction, salaries and land purchase.”
“Unfortunately,” said Hamdard, “they spent the budget to strengthen governmental administrations. Although it is legal, it is not in accordance with the stated purpose of the codes,” Said Hamdard.
The financial and budget commission of the Wolesi Jiga, or lower house of the Afghan parliament, said they found documents showing that more than 1,7 billion Afs were added to Code 91 and 200 million Afs were added to Code 92, and these extra funds were not accounted for in the original budget.
The suspicion, which has been raised before, is that money from other itemized, “ordinary” budget funds is transferred into these emergency funds because they allow for less transparency. They can be spent at the discretion of the president and the chief executive and are no longer tied to any pre-determined budgetary allocation.
MPs concerned about the increased spending from the emergency codes say that it decreases transparency within the government. Out of 29 emergency codes in the budget, the 92 code is allocated for unforeseen situations, but MPs say the funds are being spent on large salaries and operations.
“They paid high salaries to their advisers, which is not transparent,” said Sadaf Karimi, an MP.