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Wolesi Jirga rejects budget

Wolesi Jirga rejects budget

Mar 18, 2012 - 15:11

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon on Sunday rejected the proposed annual budget due to uneven allocations to provinces and a hefty $80 million bailout package for the ailing Kabul Bank.

Of the 126 lawmakers who attended the lower house session, only one raised the green card for the budget approval, while the rest overwhelmingly rejected the accounts.

The multi-million dollars bailout package for Kabul Bank that was prepared without outlining the actual reasons for the fiscal aid came under fire, Finance and Budgetary Commission Secretary Kamal Safi told the assembly.

The private bank that faced a major financial crunch last year after giving out $910 million in bad loans and due to poor management was put under the government-run Da Afghanistaninfo-icon Bank’s control and later renamed as New Kabul Bank.

Another reason for the rejection was unfair budgetary allocations to provinces, giving more authority to Cabinet ministers, compared to lawmakers, said the secretary, who added the legislators also opposed a 500 million afs fund for private banks as government employees’ salaries. 

Safi asked the finance ministry to review the budget prudently and resend it to the Wolesi Jirga for approval. The budget was presented to the lower house on February 21 after its approval by the Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon, the upper house.

Article 98 of the constitution says: “The House of People shall not delay approval of the budget for more than one month after receiving it and give permission to obtain or grant loans not included in the budget for more than 15 days.”

The finance ministry has proposed 134.3 billion afgs for the normal budget and 110 billion afs for development budget over the next nine months.



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