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Next year’s budget draft lands in Meshrano Jirga

Next year’s budget draft lands in Meshrano Jirga

Nov 06, 2017 - 17:47

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Monday tabled next year’s budget draft with a total outlay of 357.6 billion afghanis, one billion dollars less than the 1396 solar year’s budget at the Meshrano Jirga or upper house of parliament.

Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi, who attended today’s extraordinary session of the upper house, said 267 billion afghanis had been set aside for general expenses and more than 90 billion afghanis for development for the next fiscal year starting from December 22. The budget for previous fiscal year was 461 billion afghanis.

Hakimi said the next year’s budget was prepared according to the government’s structure, balance between expenditures and revenues, optional resource allocation, allocation based on money effectiveness, balance in long and short term spending, commitments of donors and domestic revenue.

He added 169 billion afghanis (more than 47 percent of all the accounts) was provided from government’s revenue and the rest paid by donors.

Currently 60 percent of the international community aid is spent through the government and the percentage may be increased next year, Hakimi said.

He said revenue collected in 1396 solar year showed a 30 percent increase over 1395 year and the amount would increase next year.

The government’s revenue reached 122 billion afghanis last year, the minister, adding security, infrastructure, education, health, agriculture and rural development sectors would receive most of the budget in the next fiscal year.

“In the next fiscal year, all budgetary units would be assessed for their spending after the first five months, if any of them was unable to spend their budget, their allocations would go to other departments,” he said.

Hakimi said 42 percent of development budget of the current year had been spent so far and the percentage would increase until the end of the year.

One and half a month remain in the new fiscal year to begin. Seven ministers who spent less development budget last year were disqualified by the Wolesi Jirga.

Hakimi said the absence of detailed plans, low capacity of procurement sections, lack of a monitoring system, lack of punishment and award culture, administrative corruption and interference of powerful individuals were main problems in budget spending.

Mohammad Alam Ezdyar, first deputy chairman of the upper house, said the house would make its decision on the draft budget in the next 15 days.

Under Article 98 of the Constitution, the general and development budgets are prepared in light with Meshrano Jirga’s recommendations before being sent to the Wolesi Jirga for final approval.