The Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the Afghan parliament, on Monday suspended the budget for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce over its “repeated refusal” by its acting minister, Ajmal Ahmadi, to attend a briefing session in the lower house.
The MPs also decided by a majority of votes to suspend the authorities of Mr. Ahmadi starting from Monday, saying the acting minister has disgraced the parliament by refusing to accept their summons call.
Their decision on the budget, the MPs said, is applicable until the acting minister is fired.
"This situation will have unpleasant consequences,” Wolesi Jirga Speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani said.
All MPs present in the Monday session voted in favor of the decision – to suspend the budget and the authorities of the acting minister of industry and commerce.
“He (Ajmal Ahmadi) is not respecting national interests. He does not have a bachelor’s degree while he has brought a master’s degree document to us,” MP Khalid Assad said.
“The decision on the budget should be certain so it is a lesson for others, too,” MP Abdul Rauf Inami said.
The parliament is assessing the budget for the next fiscal year.
“From today on, we do not recognize him (Ajmal Ahmadi) as a minister of (industry and) commerce. His signature on any contract will be considered a crime,” Rahmani said.
A spokesman for the Industry and Commerce Ministry said the officials have been responsive to the parliament.
“They can reject or approve the budget as a whole but (suspending) a part of the budget is not the authority of the parliament,” a spokesman of the ministry said.
Some MPs described the decision as the only option to deal with the inattention and ignorance of the acting minister regarding the summons for him to attend the sessions of the lower house.