After a delay of two months, Afghan parliament passes budget

Afghan parliament on Monday passed the country’s budget for the current fiscal year, thus ending an almost two-month-long tussle between the country’s lawmakers and the government, reported TOLOnews

Feb 22, 2021
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Afghan parliament on Monday passed the country’s budget for the current fiscal year, thus ending an almost two-month-long tussle between the country’s lawmakers and the government, reported TOLOnews. 

This is the third draft of the $6 billion budget that came as the result of the two-month-long hard negotiation cum bargain between lawmakers and the government. Earlier, MPs had rejected two drafts citing 19 key objections. 

The standoff between the government and members of parliament started in December last year when the latter alleged the misappropriation of an emergency fund, Code-91, at the disposal of the administrative office of the president. 

A report in a local Afghan media reported last year that around $25 million were spent on personal expenses of senior Afghan officials and leaders. As the security situation deteriorated amid the flattened economy, the government had slashed around 17,000 government jobs and a number of key development projects as well. Also, there wasn’t any consensus on the allocation of budget for the High Council for National Reconciliation- a body that oversees the peace negotiation with the Taliban.   

The delay, lawmakers alleged, was caused as the government wasn’t seriously considering the suggestions made by them. Interestingly, the speaker of the Afghan parliament earlier informed that this year the budget wasn’t prepared by the Ministry of Finance. The Office of the National Security Council and the Administrative Office of the President had jointly prepared the draft. 

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