The lower house of the parliament of Afghanistan on Wednesday approved the draft of the national budget for the current fiscal year.
According to the Finance Ministry officials, the draft budget for the year 1393 which commences from 22 December consist of $7.8 billion.
The officials further added that draft budget comprises of $2.6 billion for development projects and the remaining $5.2 billion is the ordinary budget which comprises of government expenses including salaries of the Afghan government employees and Afghan national security forces.
Masoud Kamal, head of the treasury department in the ministry of finance of Afghanistan said the budget deficit was lowered by $330 million, which was over $400 million in previous budget draft.
Mr. Kamal further added that increased domestic income and latest interational community’s funds to discretionary budget of the government are the main motives behind a reduction in budget deficit.
Kamal also added that the budget draft was initially refused by Afghan lawmakers due to some ambiguities the lawmakers had in budgetary units, including funds allocated for prudential code which will be used for unpredictable situations including emergency situations and special expenses of the presidential palace and Afghan parliament.
He said the lawmakers initially also objected the government’s decision to take loans from international organizations and foreign countries without informing the Afghan parliament.
In the meantime, the head of finance and budget commission in the lower house of parliament, Amir Khan Yaar said the revised version of the draft budget addressed the issues raised by lawmakers and therefore the draft budget was approved by majority in Wednesday’s session.
Afghan finance minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal also said that 70 percent demadns of the Afghan lawmakers were considered in the revised draft budget, considering the available resources.
The draft budget was approved by 152 lawmakers out of 166 lawmakers, who were present in Wednesday’s session.