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MPs Oppose Finance Ministry’s Bid for IMF Loan

The Ministry of Finance stated that the lawmakers' rejection of their request to apply for a $229 million loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is regrettable, but said they will resend the proposal to the MPs.

The MPs rejected the request on Wednesday, saying the government has failed to provide a transparent plan for the spending of such loans.

“The reason behind the rejection of the request of the $229 million loan was that the MPs were insisting that the government has not provided a transparent plan for investment of the funds,” said Zalmay Noori, an MP.

Some MPs, however, were not against the loan, saying they are not opposed to such a move but they are seeking a clear mechanism through which the funds will be spent.

“This loan should have been approved because it was in favor of Afghanistan. They were going to forgive 20% of it and 80% of it was supposed to be returned after many years,” said Jawed Jaihoon, an MP.

The Finance Ministry spokesman Shamroz Khan Masjidi said the loan application was proposed to overcome the budget decrease and to better address the COVID-19 challenge.

“Meanwhile, we are working on how to review the loan plan in order to get the parliament’s approval as it is a good opportunity for the government of Afghanistan,” said Masjidi.

Critics said that a lack of sources of income has pushed the government to apply for loans.

“I don’t think that getting a loan is a good idea. More reliance should be made on international aid, and, meanwhile, efforts should be made to prevent waste of the COVID-19 response fund,” said Qais Mohammadi, an analyst. 

This comes as international donors have pledged over $500 million in aid to Afghanistan for the country's COVID-19 response.

MPs Oppose Finance Ministry’s Bid for IMF Loan

The Finance Ministry spokesman says the plan for the loan will be resubmitted to the parliament for approval.

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The Ministry of Finance stated that the lawmakers' rejection of their request to apply for a $229 million loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is regrettable, but said they will resend the proposal to the MPs.

The MPs rejected the request on Wednesday, saying the government has failed to provide a transparent plan for the spending of such loans.

“The reason behind the rejection of the request of the $229 million loan was that the MPs were insisting that the government has not provided a transparent plan for investment of the funds,” said Zalmay Noori, an MP.

Some MPs, however, were not against the loan, saying they are not opposed to such a move but they are seeking a clear mechanism through which the funds will be spent.

“This loan should have been approved because it was in favor of Afghanistan. They were going to forgive 20% of it and 80% of it was supposed to be returned after many years,” said Jawed Jaihoon, an MP.

The Finance Ministry spokesman Shamroz Khan Masjidi said the loan application was proposed to overcome the budget decrease and to better address the COVID-19 challenge.

“Meanwhile, we are working on how to review the loan plan in order to get the parliament’s approval as it is a good opportunity for the government of Afghanistan,” said Masjidi.

Critics said that a lack of sources of income has pushed the government to apply for loans.

“I don’t think that getting a loan is a good idea. More reliance should be made on international aid, and, meanwhile, efforts should be made to prevent waste of the COVID-19 response fund,” said Qais Mohammadi, an analyst. 

This comes as international donors have pledged over $500 million in aid to Afghanistan for the country's COVID-19 response.

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