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Budget must meet people's needs: Civil society

Budget must meet people's needs: Civil society

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Jan 05, 2013 - 21:24

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Two influential civil societyinfo-icon organisations on Saturday asked the government to give this year's annual budget in line with people's needs and desires by incorporating their views on allocations.

The Integrity Watch Afghanistaninfo-icon and the Afghans Coalition for Transparency and Accountability (ACTA) claimed the government had so far been unable over past several years to present a poor-friendly budget.

The civil society groups held a joint meeting in Kabul and accused the government of poor budget management, saying it maintained a low level accountability.

Syed Ikram Afzali, IWA public relations officer, said if public opinions were considered, the move could help the government initiate real pro-poor budgetary measures and reflect its priorities.

"People can help oversee projects initiated by the government in their areas.  A better use of funds is possible only when the masses are involved in the process," he suggested.

The Ministry of Finance has said nearly a dozen line ministries failed last year to spend half of their allocations meant for development activities.

Afzali said the joint meeting was aimed at collecting recommendations from participants on the budget in a hope the government could produce a balance budget this time.

The parliament rejected the draft budget for 2013 two weeks ago, with lawmakers calling the accounts unbalanced.

MP Shinkai Karokhel remarked the draft had many flaws that she blamed on low capacity of ministries.

mm/ma

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