GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Pajhwok Afghan News findings show millions of afghanis from income of the cattle market in southern Ghazni province went to private pockets each year instead of going to the government’s kitty.
The cattle market is tendered annually and awarded on contract based on conditions. Pajhwok has obtained contracts of the cattle market of this year and last year and both show a difference of millions of afghanis.
The Ghazni municipality had last year awarded the cattle market contract against 5.7 million afghanis, but this year after the Taliban’s takeover, the same contract was awarded against 9.9 million afghanis, showing a difference of more than four million afghanis.
Details of this year’s and last year’s contracts:
The first contract was signed between the municipality and Rozi Mohammad on 11.4.1399 solar year until 10.4.1400.
The contract reads that the cattle market is given on rent to the said person against 5.7 million afghanis for one year.
The second contract was signed between the municipality and Abdul Haq for one year against 9.9 million afghanis.
What authorities say:
Ghazni Mayor Abdul Khaliq Ziaee told Pajhwok Afghan News that under the previous government, contracts were offered for tender but there was a systematic way of corruption.
He added: “When the contract was put out to tender, a third party would be between them and the middleman would tell the contractor that he would buy the contract for you but you would give his a share.”
Officials were also involved in the corruption and only on papers a part of the contract money would go to the state treasury and the rest would go to private pockets.
He said this year’s contract fetched 9.9 million afghanis compared to last year’s 5.7 million afghanis, showing corruption of 4.2 million afghanis.
According to him, all the contracts are still being put out to tender but no one can commit corruption in them before or after.
He noted that efforts were being made to curb corruption and ensure that all revenue went to the exchequer in a transparent manner.
A former Ghazni municipality employee, who did not want to be named, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the livestock market contract had been undervalued for years to pave the way for corruption.
He added: “Originally, there were two contracts between the two sides, one formal and the other informal. The money from the formal contract would go to the state treasury and the money from the informal contract would go to private pockets and accounts.”
He noted that over the past five years or so, millions of afghanis had gone into private accounts instead of the state coffers.
Engineer Sher Ahmad, head of the Ghazni municipality’s engineering department, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the municipality’s revenue had increased significantly since the fall of the previous regime and the Taliban took power.
He said the reason for the increase in revenue was prevention of corruption, and those who did not pay taxes in the past were now paying full taxes.
Residents of Ghazni are happy that corruption has been prevented in various departments of the province and efforts are being made for transparency. They want the government to hold those involved in corruption accountable.
Abdul Rahman, a resident of Ghazni city, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the previous government could have provided services to people in each province through revenue, but this did not happen.
“Unfortunately, corruption haf reached such a peak that more than half of the revenue would gointo the pockets of a few powerful people,” he said.
He says the people’s demand from the current government is to first hold the corrupt accountable and appoint competent people in the institutions who are not tainted by corruption.
Another person, Mohammad Ajmal, says, looking at the Ghazni livestock contract, when four and a half million afghanis goes into private pockets in one contract, you can imagine how much money would have gone into private pockets in other contracts”. .
According to him, the problem was that whenever a case of corruption was found in a province, a delegation would be sent to investigate it, but instead of investigating, the delegation would also be involved in corruption.
“People want a corruption-free administration so that the people can see themselves in it and their rights cannot be violated,” he said.
Maulvi Habibullah Mujahid, director of information and culture in Ghazni, told Pajhwok Afghan News that it was a fact that in the previous government, most departments were rife with corruption.
He says the government will not allow anyone to commit corruption but will take all necessary steps to prevent it.