News - Afghanistan
The parliament's lower house, Wolesi Jirga, rejected the budget for 2013 Saturday, citing insufficient allocation for underdeveloped provinces and a large budget for the presidential palace that dwarfs the combined allocations of the judiciary and legislature.
The draft budget had allocated $86 million for the presidential palace, $31 million to the judiciary and $33 million to parliament.
"There is no balance in budget allocations to governmental organs. Also, allocations for most of the underdeveloped provinces is insufficient, so the House rejects the draft budget," said Speaker Abdulraouf Ibrahimi.
MPs from underdeveloped provinces vocally aired their budget grievances.
"The budget is not equitable. From the floor of the parliament I call on all residents of Farah province to protest and get their due rights from this tyrannical government. It has allocated only a trivial amount for the province in the last six years," said MP Mohammed Sarwar Osmani.
The total budget for 2013 was AFN366.2 billion, of which AFN196 billion is the regular budget and more than AFN170 billion is for the developmental budget.
The Ministry of Finance sent the draft budget to parliament for approval a month ago.
The rejection of the budget comes only a week after the lower house decided to impeach 11 ministers who had failed to spend 50 percent or more of their budget last fiscal year.
Parliament called the ministers 'incompetent,' objecting against a longstanding trend of ministries failing to execute much of their budgets due to a lack of capacity and management failure.