MPs asked to monitor development projects
KABUL (PAN): Ministry of Finance officials on Monday asked the Wolesi Jirga or lower house of Parliament, to increase its monitoring of development activities by all ministries for the better use of the development budget.
Of the 74 billion afghanis ($1.5 billion) development budget for the current solar year, 35 percent has so far been used over the past eight months, the ministry's spokesman told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The problem of non-utilisation of the full development has been lingering for several years. In 2010, only 45 percent of the 116.2 development budget was spent. The national assembly has criticised the relevant ministries for their failure.
The main problems behind the failure included the low capacity of ministries, a delay in approval of budget, insecurity, lack of essential facilities, parallel set-ups by foreigners and inadequate monitoring of ministries' activities by the Wolesi Jirga, Aziz Shams said.
He added lawmakers should regularly ask officials of ministries about their development projects and monitor their activities. "Just like it pressurises the finance ministry, Parliament should similarly deal with other ministries."
Wolesi Jirga Second Secretary Farhad Azimi acknowledged the ministries' failure as a major problem, saying they had asked the officials concerned soon after they receive figures of the money spent.
Shams said efforts were being made to resolve the problem of insecurity. The Cabinet asked the interior ministry three months back to appoint more policemen to protect development projects.
Interior ministry officials say they plan to upgrade a department tasked with providing security for development schemes. The department would be upgraded to the status of a directorate next year.
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