Lawmakers said they will try to solve the budget deficit problem before approving the draft budget for the next fiscal year.
Govt Predicts AFs 12 Billion Deficit In Next Year’s Budget
The Ministry of Finance said government has predicted a AFs 12 billion deficit in the coming fiscal year’s budget but that the ministry will continue its efforts to make up the amount from national revenue or with the help of international aid.
The deficit means that government does not have any internal or external resources for financing three percent of its expenditure in the draft national budget.
“Unfortunately, the deficit in the budget is at least 12 billion Afghanis. In the next year, we will try to finance this deficit from national revenues by increasing monitoring and by providing more facilities in customs and finance offices. Meanwhile the ministry will address the deficit from non-tax organizations,” said Shamroz Khan Masjidi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.
“If we cannot address the deficit, we will enter into discussions with our international partners at a suitable time and will try to address it with international aid,” he said.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has allocated AFs 399 billion for the 1398 fiscal year’s budget, 69 percent of which has been allocated for the standard budget while the remaining 39 percent has been allocated for the development budget.
According to the deputy head of revenues and customs at the Ministry of Finance, Abdullah Raqibi, from the AFs 399 billion, AFs 275 billion will be allocated to the standard budget and the remaining will be put aside for the development budget.
The MoF figures show that 51 percent of the budget will be funded by foreign aid while 49 percent of it will be funded by national revenue.
Meanwhile, a number of MPs said the AFs 14 billion deficit of this year’s budget has been reduced to AFs 6 billion by lawmakers and for the next year’s budget they will try to solve this problem before approving the document.
“The reasons for the deficit in the budget is that offices have problems in preparing the budget based on realities and based on national revenues,” said Azim Mohseni, head of the financial commission of the Wolesi Jirga, the Afghan parliament.
An economic affairs analyst, Qais Mohammadi, said the deficit is questionable considering the fact that government is not able to fully finance its development budget.
“Deficit in budget is from one side and shows that government cannot pay the expenses it has considered and from another side it is possible that the expenses which have been predicted in the budget will be actual expenses or are they inflated expenses,” said Mohammadi.