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Wolesi Jirga Rejects Draft Budget

Wolesi Jirga Rejects Draft Budget

KABUL: The Wolesi Jirga on Saturday rejected with a majority vote the draft budget for the current year due to what they called inadequate allocations for the agricultural sector and infrastructure development. According to the draft, an amount of 257 billion afghanis has been earmarked for the general budget and 168 billion afghanis for development programmes.

A public representative from Nangarhar province, Amir Khan Yar, who also heads the Budget and Finance commission of the house, asked lawmakers to reject the proposed accounts for a variety of reasons. One reason, he said, was that 62 percent of the entire budget had been allocated for the security sector, bloated discretionary funds and insufficient focus on agriculture, uneven provincial shares.

He also condemned the allocation of millions of dollars to different ministries for staff capacity-building programmes that had failed to yield any tangible results over the last few years. A member of the commission, NasrullahSadiqi, lamented only 51 percent of the funds were used by different government departments. The panel was trying to ensure all government organs utilise their allocations properly, he said.

Of the 132 Wolesi Jirga members present during the session, only 10 approved the draft but the rest of MPs rejected it by raising their red cards. Speaker AbdurRaufIbrahimi said the Ministry of Finance was responsible for rectifying the draft and returning it the assembly.

Under Article 98 of the constitution, the general and development budgets are prepared in light of Meshrano Jirga opinion before it is referred to Wolesi Jirga for a final decision. After Wolesi Jirga approves it, the draft budget is sent to the president for signing. (PAN)

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