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Govt blamed for delay in budget approval

Govt blamed for delay in budget approval

Dec 13, 2014 - 18:11

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): After being returned by the Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon with a string of recommendations, the draft annual budget for next year was presented before the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon on Saturday.

With foreign aid making up 70 percent of the accounts, a big portion of the 270 billion afghanis budget goes to security and development sectors. The development spending has been projected at 183 billion afs.

The lower house says the government had not sent the draft budget to the house for approval in a timely manner and the government would be responsible for any delay in its passage.

Approved by the Cabinet last month, the new budget was returned to the lower house by the upper house on Tuesday with a string of recommendations.

Briefing the Wolesi Jirga session, acting Finance Minister Mustafa Mastoor said the international community had pledged 150 billion afghanis in on-budget aid and 172 billion afs for development activities.

He explained the remaining 30 percent funds would be drawn from domestic revenues. Afghanistaninfo-icon has sought $535 million more assistance than previous year from the international community for development projects and the request had been accepted.

He said the Ministry of Finance had evolved an effective mechanism to ensure that the proposed budget was transparently implemented and all sorts of corruption prevented.

“Next year’s budget has been prepared in line with the priorities and effort has been made to launch a number of small and big projects,” the minister said.

He acknowledged the proposed budget could not meet all needs of the country, but priorities had been considered in the draft.

He said a big portion of the funds had been set aside for security, educationinfo-icon, higher education, healthinfo-icon, agricultureinfo-icon sectors and infrastructure development projects.

Mastoor urged the lower house approve the draft budget as soon as possible in order the government could avoid delays in initiating development projects.

But Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said the government had not presented the draft budget to the house in-time.

“We have only a week left to enter a new financial year. The government should have sent the budget much earlier. For any delay in budget approval, the government will be responsible,” he remarked.

Under the Constitution, the state budget and development plan of the government is submitted through the Senate along with advisory comments to the Wolesi Jirga.

The Wolesi Jirga’s decision, irrespective of the consent of the Senate, is enforceable after it is signed by the President.


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