Wolesi Jirga summons several ministersBy Abasin Zaheer Feb 13, 2012 - 17:04
KABUL (PAN): The Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of Parliament, on Monday decided to summon finance and interior ministers on Saturday and 14 others next week to brief lawmakers on their failure to effectively use budgetary allocations during the outgoing fiscal.
Under Article 92 of the Constitution, the Wolesi Jirga, based on a proposal from one-tenth of its members, can grill ministers on a variety of issues. If the explanation offered is not satisfactory, the house can consider bringing a vote of no-confidence against a minister.
A no-confidence vote against a minister should be explicit, direct and based on cogent reasons. The vote has to be approved by a majority of house members.
Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal would be asked about “irresponsible amendments” to the budget for last year, in addition to his ministry’s failure to spend less than 40 percent of development funds, Second Deputy Speaker Sheikh Niamatullah Ghafari said.
But Zakhilwal, rejecting accusations by some Wolesi Jirga members, said earlier in the month no irresponsible changes had been made in the budget.
Under Article 47 on the budgetary procedure, the finance ministry could add funds with approval from the president after the budget was approved by Parliament, the minister said.
Ghafari, the newly elected deputy speaker, said Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi would be summoned to explain an increase in civilian casualties, as well as deployment of the local police force to areas where there was no need for them.
Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, MP Sakhi Mashwani said Mohammadi would also be asked about promoting his own political party, Jamiat-i-Islami, and last week’s deaths of eight children at the hands of NATO-led soldiers in central Kapisa province. The children were killed in an airstrike in Nijrab district.