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Probe against Wahidi enters 6th month with no result

Probe against Wahidi enters 6th month with no result

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On
Jun 14, 2017 - 22:50

KABUL (Pajhwok): Five months have gone since the telecommunication minister was suspended and his office remains locked and sealed, pending investigations into accusations against him.

The Presidential Palace on Jan 2 announced suspending Telecommunication and Information Technology Abdul Razzaq Wahidi, following accusations of administrative corruption against him.

The presidential palace tasked a delegation with investigating financial matters of the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology (MCIT). The minister was ordered suspended until the investigation was finished.

Before the accusations, Wahidi was among eight other ministers the parliament impeached on November 15, 2016 due to their failure to spend 70 percent of development budget. Wahidi’s failure was to establish a system for collection 10 percent tax from telecom networks subscribers.

Sayed Ahmad Shah Sadaat, acting telecom ministertold Pajhwok Afghan News that Wahidi had earlier said that he had prepared the system for collection of the 10% tax; but the system in fact didn’t exist.

According to him, the system should have been established in a way that could deposit a specific amount of tax to the national kitty from telecom companies’ earnings.

Sadaat said due to the absence of the system it hadn’t been yet specified that what amount of tax was being deposited to government’s account.

“In fact this system should have been set up about 13 years back; but currently technical preparations have been finished and we hope it will be soon ready.”

Sadaat, confirming the suspended minister’s office was locked and sealed, said investigation into his case was the authority of the attorney general’s office; however, he didn’t know how much progress had been made in the investigation.

Wahidi on February 5 in a statement received by Pajhwok denied the allegations against him, saying he had a lot of proofs and documents to prove his innocence.

He had then said ‘he had no responsibility’ in collection of telecom taxes such as the 10 percent tax from telephonic calls and he was ready to seriously cooperate with the investigation process.

But despite the passage of five months of his suspension, it remains uncertain how much progress is made by the attorney general’s office’s delegation in this regard.

Jamshed Rasooli, AGO spokesman, said the investigation into the issue was underway and upon its completion, the results would be shared with the people.

sns/ma