A document seen by media outlets shows that President Ashraf Ghani has put 68 senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, including three deputy ministers, many director generals and heads of customs on a list banning their travel.
But a number of lawmakers in the parliament have said that the move by the president is intended to replace those on the list with other corrupt people in those bodies that generate money for the country.
The Presidential Palace has so far not made an official comment about the decision.
Lawmakers said that if the president wants to fight corruption, he should start demanding accountability from the former minister of finance.
“By doing so, they want to pave the way for corruption for other corrupt people,” said Khalil Ahmad Shaheedzada, a lawmaker.
“There are some people on the list who were appointed only three or four days ago. By taking such action they want to change the course of corruption,” said Gul Rahman Hamdard, a lawmaker.
Meanwhile, officials at the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) have said that such a move by the president will not help curb corruption.
“The government has failed to combat corruption as it was expected to fight it, the government has not any achievement in this respect,” said Abdul Qader Jailanil, the former spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.
“Corruption at customs has a deep root, revenues decreased at customs under every leader,” said Khan Jan Alokozay, a member of ACCI.
Now as in the past, customs in Afghanistan have been constantly marred by allegations of corruption.
On June 13 the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) said that two important reports on corruption and irregularities of the Ministry of Finance and in the National Procurement Authority (NPA) have not been released, although they have been expected for over the past five months.
According to the MEC, several requests sent to the Committee on Rule of Law and the Presidential Palace to make the reports available for discussion, however, have yielded no result.
The anti-corruption monitoring institution has said that the reason that the government is delaying the release and assessment of the reports is that the government does not have a strong will to fight corruption.
“The government was not serious in bringing reforms at customs and other money generating sources,” said Sayed Ekram Afzali, the head of Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA).