IMF gives $75m bonus to Afghanistan after revenue surge
KABUL (Pajhwok): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has provided $75 million in bonus to Afghanistan after the country’s domestic revenue rose by 21 percent this year, compared to the previous year.
Speaking to reporters here, Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi said the revenue collection target for Afghanistan in 2015 was 114.2 billion afghanis but the government collected 120.75 billion afghanis. The country’s revenue in 2014 was 100.05 billion afghanis.
The minister said despite incidents of insecurity and other challenges, including the closure of Sher Khan Port, Afghanistan’s revenue drastically increased in 2015
Hakimi said building pressures on customs offices to improve their performance and transparency in their affairs, increased duties and tariffs, collecting tax from mobile users, imposing fees on flights from Europe crossing Afghanistan territory and the transfer of customs security officials from the Interior Ministry to the Finance Ministry were main reasons for the increased revenue.
The minister said the IMF had provided the $75 million in bonus after Afghanistan achieved its revenue target in 2015.
He did not set target for revenue collection in 2016, but said strategies had been evolved to increase revenue in the coming year.
But Abdul Qayyum Arif, banking and finance department in-charge at the Ministry of Economy, said the increase in annual revenue was not a big achievement, saying the income was not sustainable.
He said the increase in revenue did not take place through legal and permanent sources. He alleged the Finance Ministry was trying to deceive people by increasing the annual revenue using some “technical tricks” which might be temporary and could fail in future.
According to Arif, the government has been able to increase revenue through increased tariffs and duties, but the move would harm future investment and businesses in the country.
He said the government should eliminate corruption from customs departments and cut tariffs so that foreign investment could inject money to businesses in Afghanistan.
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