The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Delay in budget approval concerning

This is less than a month since the beginning of the fiscal year 1402, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate is yet to approve the 1402 national budget rising concerns from the government employees about the delay in the implementation of their salaries at the threshold of Eid-al-Fitr and suspension of practical works on development projects. While, the Ministry of Finance of the Islamic Emirate has announced that it will pay the monthly salaries of the government employees from its precautionary budget in order to respond to the concerns of government employees, but in a media gathering held at the Government and Media Information Centre (GMIC), the IEA Finance Minister shared information about an increase of 37 percent of the customs revenue compared to last year, but said nothing about the approval of the 1402 fiscal year budget. The Ministry of Higher Education also spoke about an increase in the salaries of university lecturers and added that by the implementation of the pay-scale and salaries regulation plan of the Kabul University professors, the ministry would gradually increase it from 30,000 to 60,000 Afghani, with the start of the first month of this year. However, a number of government employees in their comments with The Kabul Times, said that the budget has not been approved by the leadership of the Islamic Emirate resulting in their economic problems as the Eid-ul-Fiter days are due to arrive. They ask the Islamic Emirate to approve the budget for the fiscal year 1402, so that their salaries be implemented soon. “I have only one liveli hood, which is my monthly salary and if it is not paid on time, I will face harsh problems, particularly we are due to welcome Eid-al-Fitr festival,” Gul Rahman a government employee told The Kabul Times. He demanded from the government to pay attention to their problems and that the cabinet to soon approve the budget. Likewise, some government employees want their salaries and other wages increased. They say that the low-ranking employees and personnel have not been paid attention during the past governments. They hoped the Islamic Emirate considers their salaries and privileges in the current fiscal year’s budget. “The prices of food items are still increasing and we cannot afford our daily expenses with these lowest salaries,” said Khaibar, a Kabul citizen and government employee. According to him, all issues relate to the approval of the national budget, as it would help the government employees receive their salaries and the projects resume running, after a long stoppage. Meantime, economic experts believe that the delay in the approval of the budget can lay negative impacts on the progress of works in government institutions and the implementation of infrastructure projects. “The budget itself is a document and when it is passed, it takes a legal form and the government agencies can do their work for the coming year based on the financial plans including both development and non-development projects,” said Mujib Osmani, a university professor and economic expert. He said if the budget is not approved, the administrations cannot announce for bidding or sign their contracts for the implementation of their plans. “If the budget is approved later, all works and affairs of the departments will be delayed. Finally, the procurement plan will not be implemented that resulting in the postponement of the projects.” The Ministry of Finance of the Islamic Emirate announced last year that the national budget document for the fiscal year 1402 was prepared and sent to the Supreme Leader Mawlavi Hebatullah Akhundzada, for final approval. “The law permits the Ministry of Finance to issue a decree in emergency situations so that government employees receive their salaries, but employees cannot do major and fundamental works except running their daily tasks such as issuing letters and signing attendance sheets unless the budget is approved.” In the former governments, the fiscal year ended at the end of the month of Qaus (solar year) and the next year’s budget was approved by the parliament and sent to the president for approval, while the Islamic Emirate Administration Affairs announced that the end of the financial year has changed from the month of Qaus to the month of Jaddi solar year. Shukria Kohistani

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.