Next year’s budget envisages 300,000 jobs
Dr. Omar Zakhilwal said this while presenting the draft budget for the next fiscal year -- beginning from December 22 -- to the Meshrano Jirga, or upper house of the parliament.
He projected next year’s general budget at 275 billion afs ($4.82 billion) and development spending at 168 billion afs, saying the accounts had been proposed based on Afghanistan’s priorities.
So far the government has amount of 286 billion afghanis in its kitty to finance the upcoming budget, with 80 percent of development funds and 43 percent of the general spending currently coming from foreign assistance.
The current year’s development budget is 196 billion afs and general budget 170 billion afs. Zakhilwal said next year’s budget had a greater volume to fund the rising numbers of teachers and security forces, as well as assistance to relatives of martyrs and the disabled.
He linked the failure to utilise all development funds to insecurity, a delay in budget approval by the parliament and government departments’ inability to draw up their work plans in time.
With a six percent deficit, the new budget proposes 300,000 jobs -- something that the minister believed would have a positive impact on people’s lives.
The current year’s revenue target was lowered from 123 billion afs to 114 billion afs because of sluggish economic activity. Zakhilwal said 105 billion afs had been collected in revenue so far.
Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar said the proposed budget would be presented to the upper house for approval after being studied by the Finance and Economic Commission and other Meshrano Jirga panels.
Under Article 98 of the constitution, the government has to send its annual budget and development programme along with Senate’s recommendations to the Wolesi Jirga for endorsement. With the president’s consent, the assembly’s decision is enforced.
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