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Replace acting officials or face budget delay: WJ

9 Dec 2020 - 17:48
9 Dec 2020 - 17:48

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirga on Wednesday asked the government to evaluate spending from Code-91 and warned of postponing budget approval for ministries led by acting officials.

According to a report of Etlaat-i-Roz, an Afghan newspaper, a number of government officials had spent hundreds of millions of afghanis from Code 91, a claim rejected by the officials concerned.

The lower house of parliament discussed the issue in its today’s meeting.

Samin Barakzai, a lawmaker form Herat province, said that Code 91 had become a cancer as money was embezzled from it annually.

Belqis Roshan, a lawmaker from Farah province said, “The Code 91 has turned into a national treason, those who embezzled the public money should be punished.”

Pointing to first vice-president, Amrullah Saleh, she said, “If you are not blind and deaf, please also investigate this issue, those who approved last year’s expenditure report are also complicit in this theft with the government.”

Habib Rahman Pedram, a lawmaker from Herat province, said, “A group of people close to the president has taken hostage the whole of country, the government’s spending has been mentioned in the budget plan; but these greedy figures still embezzle money whenever they find a chance…”

Wolesi Jirga members asked for investigation into spending from the Code 91.

Speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani said that corruption could not be fought only with slogans.

He directed the Central Audit Commission of the house to investigate embezzlement of money from the Code 91 and share its report with lawmakers.

Opposition to acting officials

The Wolesi Jirga recently granted trust vote to 20 of total 25 ministers designate but rejected five of them.

The house had stressed that the rejected nominees should not continue as acting officials and the president should introduce other nominees for the trust vote.

Nominees for ministries of rural rehabilitation and development, education, information and culture, and women affairs as well as head for Da Afghanistan Bank were rejected by the lower house.

Abdul Sattar Hussaini, a lawmaker from Farah province, said that the lower house had previously decided that nominees who failed to secure the trust vote should not continue in office as acting officials.

He asked the Administrative Board of the house to send a letter to the Ministry of Finance not to recognize the signatures of rejected officials and no money should be transferred to any of the relevant ministries based on their signatures.

Rahmani, Woelsi Jirga speaker, also said that the rejected nominees had no right to continue work as acting officials for relevant organs.

He asked the president to put the culture of acting officials to an end and introduce qualified figures for the remaining ministries and independent organs to the house for the vote of confidence.

This comes as the Ministry of Finance shared its next fiscal year’s draft budget plan with the lower house on Monday.

Mds/ma

 

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