The Afghan parliament will discuss the third draft of the current fiscal year’s budget in its general session on Monday after two weeks of assessment and debate.
The lawmakers and the Finance Ministry officials have agreed on almost all 19 disputed points, but they still have yet to agree on the allocation of the budget for the High Council for National Reconciliation as well as over the reduction in the number of development projects, MPs said.
Both sides also disagreed on a 15 million Afs allocation for the Afghanistan Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, but the issue was solved when the fund was removed from the third budget draft, according to lawmakers.
“Some lawmakers say that the reconciliation council moved to become part of the Administrative Office of the President so its funds were reduced. Others say that the fund should be allocated. I think that the High Council for National Reconciliation is an additional office,” said Mir Afghan Safi, head of the finance and budget committee of the House.
The committee said that the government deducted development projects begun last year and allocated their budget to the food distribution program; therefore, they insist on the reallocation of funds to the removed projects.
“Based on Article 34 of the principles of the implementation of the budget, the Ministry of Finance has the authority to increase the involuntary budget, but it should have the parliament’s approval when it comes to its reduction,” said Azim Keberzani, member of the finance and budget committee of the House.
Overall, all members of the finance and budget committee of the parliament admitted that the remaining differences are not at the level to impede the approval of the budget on Monday session.
“The budget should go for votes in the Monday session. I potentially believe that it will be approved tomorrow (Monday),” said Baktash Ishchi, a member of the finance and budget committee of the House.
The Ministry of Finance has said that the proposal on the formation of the High Council for National Reconciliation as a budgetary unit has already been sent to lawmakers and that the parliament can add its fund to the budget and approve its formation simultaneously.