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Energy and water minister survives no-trust motion

Energy and water minister survives no-trust motion

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Jan 01, 2018 - 14:55

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Energy and Water Minister Ali Ahmad Usmani on Monday survived the impeachment motion after lawmakers accused him of illegal appointments and financial corruption.

Usmani, who appeared before the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon to regain the trust vote, was accused of appointing 120 advisors illegally, under-spending development budget, financial corruption and awarding dams construction contracts to companies at manipulated price, causing millions of afghanis losses to the national treasury.

Kamal Naser Usoli, a lawmaker from southeastern Khost province and one of the lawmakers who signed at the impeachment form, said according to the Supreme Audit Office, financial corruption in the Energy and Water Ministry was shocking.

He added copies of the Audit Office report had been sent to the Presidential Palace and the Chief Executive Office.

Quoting the Supreme Audit Authority report, Usoli said Usmani did not allow the uplift budget spending and prevented construction of some dams for personal benefit.

But the energy and water minister rejected appointment of a large number of advisors and added: “I have three advisors and a total of 10 advisors exist in the ministry.”

About under-spending, Usmani said since taking office the spending of his ministry’s development budget was increased from 34 percent to 64 percent and extravagance spending was avoided.

He added in the past professional individuals from foreign countries would work in the ministry against high salaries, but now technical and professional Afghans held those posts.

Usmani said money was the most valuable thing for construction companies. He claimed some companies strived to get to their target by pressurizing the ministry.

The minister added: “There will be no problem if the contracts of dams’ construction are given low standard companies, but if one stands against such move than he is accused of corruption.”

He asked lawmakers to defend Afghanistaninfo-icon’s national interest not the interest of a few companies.

The minister added every dam in Afghanistan had a particular enemy who did not allow dams construction to be completed.

A minister could be disqualified if 117 of the total members deny trust vote to him/her.

But in today’s session, among the total 166 lawmakers present, 32 voted against Usmani and 124 voted in his favour. Six votes were termed null and void

nh/ma

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