MoF Defends Budget Policy After MPs Cite Imbalance

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Ministry of Finance (MoF) Tuesday said government has allocated more money to infrastructure and security sectors in the next fiscal budget in the hope of creating jobs and meeting the needs of the people.

But, lawmakers in the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) plan to reject the draft budget, arguing that it is not balanced.

MoF has allocated $2.3 billion USD to the security sector, which makes up 36 percent of the total budget, but the amount shows a three percent decrease compared to this year’s budget.

Another $1.4 billion USD has been allocated to infrastructure development, which makes up 21 percent of the budget – a one percent increase against this year.

“By supporting the infrastructure sector we are trying to implement more development projects in order to create more jobs for the people,” said Ajmal Hamid Abdul Rahimzai, spokesman for the MoF.

But, lawmakers said that balance has not been considered in the budget, arguing that only a few development projects were included in the draft budget which cannot meet the demands of the people.

“Balance has not been considered in the budget for provinces; some provinces are given more money while some others less money,” said MP Khalid Pashton.

“The next fiscal budget is not transparent; lawmakers plan to reject the budget so that amendments can be made to the budget,” said another MP Nadir Shah Bahr.

There are only two weeks to go before the next financial year starts, but parliamentary commissions have not yet concluded their discussions on the issue.

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