Watchdog draws attention to excessive expenses in the ordinary budget such as fancy goods and luxury cars.
IWA Questions Govt’s Development Budget Policy
Officials from the Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) on Thursday said that allocating money for fancy and luxury goods, including latest model of cars, has been one of the excessive expenses over the years in the ordinary budget.
The watchdog says the allocation of funds for purchasing fancy goods has decreased the amount for the development budget.
Government has considered 68 percent of the national budget for the ordinary budget.
IWA states that government’s strides in reducing the amount of the ordinary budget, mainly allocation of funds for luxury goods, have failed.
IWA said the government’s decision to purchase low-price vehicles and the contracts for purchasing the cars via government-to-government contracts, received serious resistance from government officials in the institutions.
“We witnessed, on different occasions, whenever a new minister, a new deputy or a new ambassador is appointed, the first thing they recommend is furniture, a new car and luxury goods for their offices. This causes a large part of the ordinary budget to be allocated for this purpose,” said IWA researcher, Naser Taimoori.
“They try to buy luxury and the latest cars. Mostly government institutions buy cars which have not been used in Afghanistan,” said Hajji Wafa, the head of Car Dealers Union.
But, officials from the Afghan Ministry of Finance (MoF) have said the government has undertaken more reforms in the budget policy each year and the government has imposed some restrictions on the purchasing of luxury vehicles to avoid unnecessary expenditure.
“Government policy is that no budget will be allocated for vehicles any longer,” said MoF policy department chief, Sayed Naseer.
This comes at a time when findings of the Equality for Peace and Democracy (EPD) show that despite progress in the next year’s fiscal budget, there are some shortcomings in the draft budget.
Based on statistics of the EPD, from the total 399 billion AFs considered for next year’s fiscal budget, more than 50 percent of the budget money depends on optional and unconditional assistance, which has a 12 billion AFs cut.
The 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 ministry, from the AFs 399 billion, AFs 275 billion will be allocated to the standard budget and the remainder will be put aside for the development budget. MoF on Tuesday said the balance of development budget spending by the government’s budgetary units has surpassed almost 90 percent this year, which shows a 23 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago.