Afghan MPs, government spar over budget

For weeks now the Afghan government has been struggling to get its annual budget passed by parliament

Jan 21, 2021
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For weeks now the Afghan government has been struggling to get its annual budget passed by parliament. Now MPs have threatened the government with unilaterally approving the budget with their own amendments.

MPs have rejected the budget twice earlier over the government’s failure to accommodate their demands. An increase of $193.8 million in the currents  year budget is one among several issues MPs are demanding answers for.

Strangely, unlike any other normal years, the budget this time isn’t prepared by the Ministry of Finance, said Mir Rahman Rahmani, the speaker of the lower house. “The National Security Council and the Administrative Office of the President have prepared this budget,” he alleged.

“The Afghan nation has no hope from this government, the house of representative does not have any hope either,” Ziauddin Zia, a member of parliament, said on apathy shown by the government toward MPs’ concern.

Responding to these allegations, President Ghani’s senior advisor Wahid Omer said, “There are various reasons that the budget wasn’t approved, but from our perspective, these reasons aren’t logical.”

The pandemic and the war have already constrained the government’s capacity to accommodate several demands. In the budget, the government proposed the removal of 13,000 of its employees. MPs are opposing such moves.

Lawmakers said, on the one hand, the government was making provisions to increase the current year budget while on the other hand, they weren’t ready to pay the salaries of soldiers and police personnel.

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