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Revenue up by 21 percent: MoF

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By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Saturday said that revenue collection has increased by 21 percent (Afs 20.7 billion) this year.

The Minister of Finance, Eklil Hakimi, told newsmen that the revenue stood at Afs120.75 billion this solar year (March 21, 2015-2016), however, the figure was Afs100.05 billion during the last solar year (2014).

He said that the international community has fixed Afs114 billion as target in revenues collection for the Afghan government this year. He said that based on the agreement Afghanistan has received $75 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after achieving the target.

He added that transparency in collection of revenues and reforms in the taxation system were the main reasons behind the increase.

Hakimi said that they are intended to bring further reforms in order to further increase national revenue.

This comes at a time that Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of the parliament) last week rejected draft budget for next fiscal year. Abdul Rauf Ebrahimi, speaker of the Wolesi Jirga, said that the budget was imbalanced.

According to the Financial and Budget Committee of the Wolesi Jirga total ordinary and development budget for the next fiscal year is estimated around Afs461 billion. The commission has forecast Afs19 billion budget deficit.

Seddiq Ahmad Osmani, a lawmaker, said that some sources of the revenue didn’t have legal base. He came with the examples of tax on mobile phone recharge cards and duties over oil and gas.

Officials in the Ministry of Finance said that after assessing the budget draft, they would send it soon to the Wolesi Jirga for approval.