Officials of the Afghan Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Thursday raised serious concerns over the continued tension between the government and the parliament over the fiscal budget, stating that the delay in the approval of the budget document, besides increasing economic turbulence, also undermines the implementation of development projects.
The Finance Ministry officials said that many shortcomings and problems have been addressed in the third draft budget, and they suggested that the lawmakers approve the amended draft budget as soon as possible.
“The private sector is related to the budget. The salaries of the teachers, employees and officers are linked with the budget. The domestic revenues that we have outlined are linked with the budget,” said Khaled Payenda, the acting Minister of Finance.
This comes a week after the government dispatched the third amended draft budget to the parliament for approval.
The parliament has so far rejected the draft budget two times.
The acting Minister of Finance pledged to consider an increase in the salaries of the teachers and civil servants in the first six months of the Persian 1400 year which starts in March.
Experts believe that the government has still not clarified its stance on the NTA ghost salaries in the government structure.
They said that the budget draft has also not clarified electricity expenses of several government entities that are supposed to be paid to Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (Afghanistan’s main power supplying company) through a specific code.
But lawmakers in parliament have said that the govt has not addressed their demands in the budget plan.
“Perhaps they have changed the environment, but we have a long way to go before the approval of the budget,” said MP Sediq Ahmad Osmani.
According to government officials, in the third draft budget, funds have been allocated for the construction of dams and agricultural projects.
The Ministry of Finance has said that the government has allocated 12 billion Afs for the construction of dams and 3 billion Afs for agricultural projects in the third draft budget.