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Revised draft budget 2018 too imbalanced: MPs

Revised draft budget 2018 too imbalanced: MPs

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Jan 15, 2018 - 20:59

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Some lawmakers on Monday rejected a revised version of the draft national budget for the ongoing fiscal year, saying imbalance in projects among provinces remained unaddressed.

The lower house or Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon members said some provinces had been granted many uplift projects, some few and others nothing.

The next year’s budget draft is 357.6 billion afghanis, one billion dollars less than the 1396 solar year’s budget.

According to the Ministry of Finance, 267.2 billion afghanis has been set aside for general expenses and more than 93.7 billion afghanis for development for the next fiscal year which starts from December 22. The budget for previous fiscal year was 461 billion afghanis.

Lawmaker Saleh Mohammad Saleh told the lower house that the updated version of the draft budget 2018 landed few days back in the finance commission of the lower house but the problem of imbalance still persisted.

He said members of the finance commission and Finance Ministry officials held two meetings to resolve the issue of imbalance but the problem could not be resolved so far. “We will not pass the budget until our concerns are addressed,” he said.

Ali Akhlaqi, a lawmaker from Ghazni province, said no balance in funds distribution had been considered in the budget draft and warned the budget would not be approved until justice was done.

Allah Gul Mujahid a lawmaker from Kabul province, said most of the last year’s uplift projects had been excluded from the 2018 draft with no balance between provinces.

“This year’s budget draft is not acceptable to us. We are not the employees of the president, but we are servants of people and their rights should be given to them otherwise the draft budget will not be approved,” he remarked.

Wolesi Jirga Secretary Abdul Qader Zazai Watandost said uplift projects had not been granted to provinces as quota of their representatives but it was every lawmaker’s efforts to grab more development programs for his/her province.

He added lawmakers meant imbalance more or less uplift schemes for provinces where they were elected.

Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi expressed his concern over the imbalance in the draft budget and asked the commission concerned to arrange a joint meeting of representatives from other commissions and include the draft budget in the upcoming agenda.

The draft budget 2018 could not be approved despite the passage of 25 days of the first month of the fiscal year.

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