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Ministers to Appear Before Wolesi Jirga on Monday

afghanistan parliament members

Kabul – Wolesi Jirga (lower house) members were finally able on Wednesday to settle their differences over summoning nearly a dozen ministers who failed to effectively utilise their last fiscal year’s budgetary allocations.

With a majority vote last month, the assembly agreed to summon the 11 Cabinet members for spending less than 50 percent of their development budgets in 2011, but later differences surfaced among the MPs.
A number of lawmakers challenged the decision by arguing that some of the ministers had not been appointed last year and had no role in spending the funds.

Ministries of defence, interior, commerce, economy, counter-narcotics, water and energy, education, urban development, mines, higher education and information failed to use their funds meant for uplift purposes.

As heads of parliamentary commissions announced that the ministers would be summoned on Monday, a majority of lawmakers present raised their green cards in agreement. However, the religious and cultural commission head, Kamal Nasir Osooli, did not agree with the decision. He said it would be unjust to grill the ministers who did not hold their current positions in 2011.

“We have looked into the expenditures of the education ministry on development plans. The accounts show the ministry had spent 62 percent of its development funds, still it has been added to the list of those having used less than 50 percent of their budgets,” he added. The commission heads also decided not to call the lower house into session on Wednesday and Saturday in order to discuss this year’s budget. (PAN)

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