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Improper use of budget is incompetency, sin: Ghani

Improper use of budget is incompetency, sin: Ghani

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Nov 08, 2016 - 19:23

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani has said some ministries lack the capacity to properly use their budgets and ministers are answerable to the parliament for non-implementation of their financial plans.

President Ghani expressed these views during a meeting about next year’s budget plans with upper house members at the Presidential Palace on Monday.

More financial resources are available this year and sectorial ministries should use them for providing effective services to the nation, the president said.

He said reform efforts in procurement affairs have been accelerated and all the ministries have enough budgets for proper use. “There is no pretext with ministers about availability of money and facilities. The ministries cannot complain about a shortage of financial resources,” he said.

Ghani said ministers should be held accountable for their failure to spend their general and development budgets properly and legally.

“We should confess that our ministries lack the capacity to reasonably and rationally use their budget as 15 percent of our people sleep hungry, around 38 percent lack food security and improper spending of budget in such a situation is incompetency and sin,” he said.

Old and new projects should be distinguished because old projects contained some problems while problems in new projects have been mostly resolved, he said, adding most of sectorial ministries have no schedule for implementation of their projects and capacity for managing foreign advisors.

Ghani asked Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon members to show commitment in reducing budget for ministries that failed to spend their funds.

A number of ministries are busy in construction activities instead of discharging their main and basic responsibilities, he said. A team from the Ministry of Urban Development should be tasked to monitor and manage standardization in the construction activities of ministries.

The president added the design for construction of district buildings has been prepared and would be implemented in near future. Other government departments would also get new buildings.

Construction of roads and railways and extension of fiber optic network should also be handed over to the administrative unit so relevant projects were properly executed, he said.

Basic reforms in offices are needed for reasonable usage of budget and delivery of effective services to the people, he said.

Ghani added ministers in the next fiscal year should brief the parliament about their ministries expenses after every three or six months.

“If we do not implement our promises with people and the international community, we may lose current opportunities and resources, we should have a clear plan for effective use of resources in the next three years,” Ghani said.

The president added 10 international companies would be selected for the implementation of large-scale projects in coordination with the parliament and the people.

He said 10 provinces with poor economic situation should be focused for more investments so balanced development and social justice was observed in the country.

“Development of 20 border provinces is vital so that we observe Islamic and economic unity in Afghanistaninfo-icon,” he said.

The attraction of $2.1 billion investment for Afghanistan showed investors’ strong trust in the country’s future, he said, adding $800 million of investment would be carried out in the power sector.

Pointing to regional cooperation, Ghani said the railways line between Turkmenistan and Aqina port would be inaugurated soon. Transportation of goods through railways would be five times cheaper than previous routes, he said.

Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar thanked the president for meeting with the Meshrano Jirga members and said the president had so far held 29 consultative meetings with senators.

Such close coordination and respect from the president was unprecedented and more of such meetings ensured better coordination and cooperation, he said.

He said budget and national projects were the rights of people and no one should misuse them for their personal interest.

Muslimyar said the upper house supported administrative reforms because it could ensure stability and peace in the country.

mds/ma

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