Procurement process being decentralised: Zakhilwal
Speaking at the first National Procurement Conference in Kabul, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal said the absence of huge companies and the security situation in Afghanistan made the procurement process problematic.
Pointing to procurement rules, Zakhilwal said: “We have an internationally accepted law, but still face problems. There is no problem in its legal aspect, but lack of transparency and interference create problems.”
To address the failure to utilise the development budget, the ministry was trying to decentralise procurement and shift authority to line directorates and governors. Zakhilwal noted.
Zakhilwal emphasized on the fight against graft and said: “If better opportunities are provided, the perception about corruption in the procurement process will be minimised.”
As Afghanistan was getting ready for transition in 2014, the government’s responsibility also increased in terms of the transparent and efficient use of development budget, Zakhilwal said.
Attracting foreign aid and private investments was vital to the sustainable economic growth of Afghanistan, he observed.
According to Zakhilwal, procurement efficiency and simplification result in transparency and effectiveness and will encourage investors and donors.
Shamsuddin Ghayasi, the Procurement and Policy Unit (PPU) head at the Ministry of Finance, said the government had pledged at the Tokyo Conference to spend 75 percent of development budget -- but the current figure is around 50 percent.
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