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Budget spending: Wolesi Jirga to summon 19 ministers

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BY Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Members of the Wolesi Jirga—Lower House of the parliament—with a majority vote, on Wednesday made decision to summon 19 ministers and a number of heads of departments to brief legislators regarding their failure in spending budgetary allocations during the outgoing fiscal year.

The parliamentarians in the plenary session said these ministers and heads of independent departments failed to spend by 70 percent of development budget.

Law makers insisted that those ministers, whose answers were not convincing, should be dismissed.

“Majority of Wolesi Jirga members unsatisfied over failure of ministries and number of independent departments over spending budget during ongoing fiscal year and decided to summon them to explain their failures to law makers,” said speaker of the Wolesi Jirga Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi.

He said that those who spent allocation budget below 70 percent must brief to law makers.

Ministries of health, agriculture, tribal affairs, urban development, finance, economy, refugees and repatriates, counter narcotics, telecommunications, information and culture, higher education, water and energy, public works, justice, transport, education, labor and social affairs, foreign affairs as well as the national directorate of security have failed to spent budget by 70 percent. Some of the independent departments have also failed to spent development budget.

Law maker Qazi Nazir Ahmad Hanafi called economic challenge as the main factor behind killing of innocent people inside the country and escaping of families to abroad.

He said those ministers who failed to spend budgets were the main factor behind ramp up unemployment issue, which leads the people to escape the country and face different challenges, even sink threats in oceans.

The Wolesi Jirga warned the ministers at the beginning of fiscal year to spend allocation budget, but they failed, thus they are responsible to brief to law makers, if their response was not acceptable, they must be disqualified and punished, he asserted.

Female MP Robaba Parwani said that failure of ministers in spending budget is one of the reasons behind distances between people and government.

She said that not running of projects could be lead to gradually killing of poor people across the country.

Legislator Ramazan Bashardost said: “there is some report that number of officials has spent part of the allocated budget over purchasing of luxury goods, like furniture and chairs and etc, which is against law.”

He said that parliament must force ministers to be accountable for spending development budget, the money of poor people over purchasing luxury goods.

Criticizing failure of ministers, he said that President Ghani must be accountable, because he, himself had taken exam from assigned ministers.