The finance ministry said the provincial development budget from each ministry will be $1 million USD for every province
Provincial Budget Policy Rolled Out In Four Ministries
Officials at the Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Tuesday said at a conference on the provincial budgeting policy that this year four ministries started implementing the policy and that in the next three years 15 to 20 government departments will follow suit.
According to the finance ministry, the provincial development budget this year from the ministries of agriculture and irrigation, public health, education and rural rehabilitation and development will be $1 million USD for every province from each ministry.
“This policy aims to decentralize services and budget resources and it has been carried out by delegating authorities of the central budgetary units to the provincial directorates. The delegation of authority is being done in a transparent way and (directorates) will be accountable for the pubic financial management system,” said deputy minister of finance Shafiq Ahmad Qarizada.
Abdul Sattar Murad, the minister of economy, also attended the meeting and said giving more authority to local governments and institutions, especially in budgeting and planning matters, will help provinces reach their goals of growth and balanced development.
“Growth and balanced development is one of the priorities and goals of government. This won’t be acquired unless government offers good services, establishes a good financial and planning system and specifies the roles of central and local officials,” he said.
“In the past we tried different plans such as the provincial five-year strategic plan, but due to a lack of budget the plan was not implemented,” said Abdul Moqtader, the director of policy and planning for the Independent Directorate of Local Governance.
Meanwhile a number of parliament members criticized government over what they said was a decrease in planning and budget spend by local authorities over the past two years.
“Two to three years ago local governments were involved in planning and budgeting and then their authorities were decreased and the decisions were taken by central government. I urge the ministers of economy, finance, the National Procurement Commission and the government to reinstate authorities to local government,” said the head of the Wolesi Jirga's Finance Commission, Amir Khan Yaar.
According to the ministries of economy and finance, a provincial budgeting approach over development projects will be planned by local government officials in consultation with the people.
Also local government will have more authority to spend the budget, the ministries said.