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RTA head disagrees with ANF abolishment

RTA head disagrees with ANF abolishment

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Sep 21, 2020 - 16:22

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Radio Television Afghanistaninfo-icon (RTA) head Ismael Miakhel has expressed his disagreement with the abolishment of Afghanistan National Fund (ANF) and urged President Ashraf Ghani to allow the fund to function until a commission investigates the matter.

The ANF was formed in May in compliance to a presidential decree to collect donations and distribute them among vulnerable people.

It was created under the framework of Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) with 42 million afghanis budget approved by the president. Ghani appointed Pamir Patang, brother of Diva Patang, as ANF chief.

According to a well-placed source, the ART has demanded 22 million afghanis budget for salaries of ANF workers for the ongoing year.

According to the source, the ANF was created during the outbreak of coronavirus -- a common practice in other nations during emergency situations.

But President Ghani scraped the body on the suggestion of Administrative Affairs Office and in compliance with the decision of the High Decision Making board on September 18.

Pajhwok Afghan News received a copy of the official order through which the ANF was abolished.

The order says: “The president approved suggestion of the High Decision Making Board regarding ANF that there is no need of formation of this fund and don’t refer any suggestion to me without its legal evaluation.”

Khoshal Khalil, head of the Administrative Affairs Broadcast and Publication Department, said that the president ordered creation of rules and regulations for ANF when the body was newly formed.

He said during evaluation of ANF legal, legislative and judicial aspects by experts, it was understood that there was no legal ground for formation of ANF, therefore the body was cancelled.

Later the issue was referred to the legal committee under second Vice President Sarwar Danish authority and no satisfactory answer was found to support the creation of this body.

Najib Nangyal, a political affairs expert, said the government has a state ministry for Disaster Management so there was no need for creation of a separate body.

Pajhwok Afghan News also obtained a copy of the Decision Making Board’s final decision regarding ANF, in which the president is briefed about legal constraints in the way of ANF formation.

It says ANF is created based on a proposal which explains importance of the body but it could not be a legal document to justify legal importance and need of the body and provide a legal framework.

It adds the ANF proposal is signed by the RTA head and stamped by the Administrative Affairs Office, which could not become a legislative document.

The proposal for creation of ANF should have been first evaluated in the light of laws and after evaluation, the body should have been introduced through a legislative decree.

The decision paper caries signatures of senior presidential advisor Kabir Isakhel, Rafiullah Popal, deputy chief of monitoring of the Administrative Affairs office, Abdul Karim Totakhel, deputy head of human resource department, Ahmadullah Naweed, head of AAO, Jamal Naser Pashton and head of the justice and legal affairs Ajmal Hudman.

Pamir Patang, ANF head, on August 23 in a letter in the name of Administrative Affairs Office said: “According to your request and letter, the working terms are sent to you.”

Meanwhile, a statement issued by ANF said the fund was set up with order from the Presidential Palace and they had not received any other decree if issued regarding cancellation of the ANF.

The source added: “It should be said that since the fund’s formation, it has been engaged in formulating policies, terms and internal procedures, so it has done nothing to make the program work.”

The statement added the ANF had no spent a single afghani from its budget and the embezzlement allegations were baseless and a failed attempt to confuse public minds by biased circles.

Transparency and accountability were their main and key principles and leadership of the ANF was ready for any kind of query to the government and people of Afghanistan.

According to information published by the fund, planning to collect donations from donor communities, attracting and absorbing donations from national and international communities, managing distribution of collected fund, national and regional programs, funding, accurate assessment of aid distribution, equitable distribution of assistance, and identification of the aid are among working terms of the fund.

Pajhwok obtained documents and information which show ANF officials have devised working procedures and other regulations to this institution.

On the other hand, Mohammad Islamil Miakhel, RTA director, sent a letter to the president against the decision and recommendation of the Decision-Making Board, asking him to set up a commission to probe the issue.

He said as long as the matter was investigated by a special commission, the NFA should be allowed to operate.

In the letter, Miakhel suggested that Dr. Fazel Mahmood Fazly, director of the AAO, Shakir Kargar, director of the president’s office, Kabir Isakhel, senior legal advisor to the president, Sami Hamid, presidential advisor, Habib Zadran, deputy finance minister, Pamir Patang, head of ANF, Dr. Farooq Bashar, legal advisor of the RTA and Ismalil Miakhel, director of RTA should be members of the commission.

Miakhel said the decision-making board had made the decision without consulting RTA and ANF.

The ANF has also responded to the board in two pages and raised 10 points regarding the analysis of the fund.

According to Pajhwok’s information, ANF has a modern office on the second floor of a building in the RTA. It has 66 employees, most of them have been working since the past two months, bank accounts are being created for them but they have not yet received their salaries and are facing an unknown fate.

nh/sa/ma

 

 

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