Basic provincial projects ignored: Khost officials
KHOST CITY (PAN): City officials say that the government budget does not give proper attention to basic projects in Khost province.
Hamid Shah, the Economic Minister of Khost, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Khost was a mountainous and far-flung province that urgently needed basic reconstruction.
"The government has not identified the needs of people properly,” he said. “That is why such a low budget has been allocated to the province and approved through the Wolesi Jirga.”
Shah said that in the budget for solar year 1390 -- beginning March 22, 2011 -- $90 million had been allocated for basic projects in Khost but only $15 million had reached the province.
He said these funds are not sufficient to the needs of Khost’s people and that the budget had not taken into account electric power, industry, parks, and canals.
"Millions of dollars are required for the construction of new airport in Khost but instead the government has approved two million dollars for the construction of a boundary wall," he complained.
Members of the provincial council also complained about the small budget.
Jan Mir Zazay, provincial council secretary, told Pajhwok that the council had been expecting more money from the central government and that the amount that ultimately reached the province was not enough.
"The government has always ignored Khost and has never responded positively to the just demands of masses," he said.
Illyas Wahdat, a writer and journalist, said there were a few reasons behind the low budget.
"Trade, industry and agriculture are not developing as they might be, and capacity building is ignored," Wahdat said. He said the government could address these problems with a well-organized plan.
He said that the government should prioritize all provinces equally, and that if it would, people would begin to trust it.
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