The next fiscal year's budget has been rejected at the Wolesi Jirga after a majority vote by lawmakers.
MPs Label Draft Budget As ‘Unbalanced'
MPs in the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament, on Wednesday rejected the draft for the next fiscal year's (the 1397 fiscal year) budget, arguing that the “complicated” document showed that the allocated amount is lower than that of the current year.
The lawmakers also argued that the budget was not balanced and there are many complexities in the document.
The legislators said government has the responsibility to address the financial needs of the state institutions, based on the law.
“The information in the draft budget is unclear,” the head of financial and budget commission of the Wolesi Jirga, Amir Khan Yar, said.
“The reduction in the development budget and removing last year’s projects, are concerning for MPs,” said Azim Mohseni, the deputy head of the financial and budget commission.
Other MPs slammed the lawmakers’ decision to reject the budget as “a cruel act”.
“At least 11 budget units are taking the ‘operative money’. The budget for all other institutions expect the National Directorate of Security, the interior and defense ministries and judicial institutions must be cut,” said Mohammad Sarwar Osmani Farahi, an MP.
“We will not vote on the budget until the legitimate demands of the people of Ghor province are met,” said Ghulaam Farooq Majroh, an MP from Ghor.
The next fiscal year’s budget is more than 361 billion AFs in which 261 billion AFs is the ordinary budget and 93 billion the development budget.
At least 188 billion AFs of the next year’s budget will be provided from international aid and 161 billion AFs will be from the national revenues, government officials said.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister’s spokesman, Ajmal Abdulrahimzai, called the next fiscal year’s budget a balanced document.
“The national budget for the year 1397 is balanced, transparent, responsive and credible and has been prepared based on the country’s needs, the priorities of people and government and international norms,” Abdulrahimzai said.