Lawmakers in the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) on Sunday criticized finance units in government departments for not consulting them while amending salary codes.
According to MPs, the finance units are carrying out irregular salary amendments and changing salary codes of employees. They said this issue is creating serious financial problems.
The MPs urged these finance units to consult MPs in order to avoid budget deficits at the end of a financial year.
“Based on principles underling the implementation of the budget, the amendments to salary codes are illegal and it is prohibited. But it seems that such amendments are being done at many ministries,” said MP Assadullah Saadati.
Another MP, Fakoor Behishti, said: “There are between 20 to 30 recommendations defined in the budget and all are approved together with it [budget]. No one is authorized to amend it. However, the Ministry of Finance and the Presidential Palace are amending the budget separately and on their own.”
In reference to the allegations, meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said no government office is allowed to amend the ordinary and development budgets once approved by parliament.
“It has never happened in the national budget of Afghanistan that salaries of government employees are not paid due to a lack of cash or payment,” Finance Ministry spokesman Ajmal Hameed said.
The Wolesi Jirga members also argued that such unlawful measures by finance units would create financial problems and would violate the rights of pensioners, martyrs families and disabled persons.
In response to this, the spokesman for the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled, Abdulfatah Eshrat, said: “A budget deficit means that we paid the debt of previous years and this led to a budget deficit. Also pensioners have not been consulted.”