Some lawmakers, including the deputy speaker of the Afghan parliament, on Monday said that the third draft of the current fiscal year’s budget does not include the amendments they requested.
Lawmakers said they see a "0.5% change" in the entire draft, adding that it will be "shameful” if the draft is approved.
“The third draft is not different than the second draft, but the government continues to add billions of afghanis to the codes,” said Mirza Mohammad Katawazi, the first deputy speaker of the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of the Parliament.
“We call for a reduction of the allocated budget to the funds for code 91 and 92,” said Nilofar Jalali Kofi, an MP from Kunduz.
But others welcomed the amendments, accusing their colleagues of preferring their personal interests when it comes to amendments in the latest budget draft, which has been rejected by the House twice.
“The salaries might increase in the future. Further delay in the approval of the budget will not be in favor of the people,” said Nasir Ahmad Farahi, an MP from Farah.
“Good changes have been brought to the budget draft during different meetings of lawmakers with officials,” said Nasir Ahmad Mujaddedi, an MP from Herat.
But some MPs accused the government of lacking interest in making a balanced budget.
“We are not the nightingale of anyone to go to the National Security Council to eat partridge,” said Abdul Sattar Husaini, an MP from Farah.
“We will not approve the budget unless teachers' and soldiers' salaries are increased,” said Shir Mohammad Akhundzada, an MP from Kandahar.
It is not known when the lawmakers will decide on the budget but those in favor and those against are expected to have discussions on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the committee of political parties supported the parliament’s stance regarding the budget and said that face-off on the matter between the government and the House is not in favor of the country.
The committee in a statement called on the government to respond to the lawmakers’ "logical and legitimate" demand to equalize or at least balance the salaries of government employees, as well as to balance the development budget.