Figures by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) show a more than Afs2 billion (over $26 million) reduction in national revenues for the first three months of the current fiscal year compared to the same period last year.
National revenues were more than Afs37 billion ($480 million) in the first three months of last fiscal year, while it is around Afs35 billion ($455 million) for the same period this year, according to the Finance Ministry.
Shamroz Khan Masjidi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance, said the reduction is due to "political issues," but also to decreases in customs tax.
“At the beginning of the new fiscal year, we had some political issues which directly impacted the revenues. Also, the imports and exports have also had their impacts as the country’s borders were inactive,” he said. “These all resulted in a reduction (in the revenues) compared to the last year.”
Reports indicate that Afghanistan’s neighbors have closed their borders to trade over the coronavirus outbreak. This has also increased grocery prices in local markets.
Experts said that prevention of corruption is the only way to ensure an increase in the revenues under the current circumstances.
“Transparency and monitoring and new economic plans should be taken into consideration by the government,” said Taj Mohammad, an economic affairs expert. “We might face further problems if the situation created by the coronavirus outbreak continues.”
The figures show that this is the first time in the last five years that the national revenues have fallen.