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Centralized budgeting system behind selective implementation of uplift projects: IWA

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: A human right watchdog, Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) said in its report released Thursday that centralized budgeting system has failed to meet demands of the provinces, therefore, it needs to be decentralized for a balanced development across the country.

Chief Executive Officer of IWA, Sayed Akram Afzali, criticized centralized system of budgeting and said that their report revealed that due to the centralized system of budgeting, development projects have been launched unevenly.

Speaking at a press conference, he said that the survey have been conducted in Kabul, Nangarhar, Herat and Balkh provinces, and it was found out that the centralized budgeting is the main reason behind disproportionate development projects across the country.

In the budgeting system, provincial council, people’s representative and civil society’s roles were limited or just nominal, therefore the National Unity Government must address the issue, he added.

He stated that consultation with people and civil society in the budgeting process will pave the ground for the government to run projects proportionately while keeping the needs of the provinces in mind.

He highlighted that still people were not well aware about budgeting, therefore the government must run awareness programs.

A representative of the Provincial Council, Ali Yazdan Parast, said that development projects directly affect people’s life standard.

He expressed concerns over the centralized of budgeting system, adding that the centralized system was the main reason behind imbalance in projects and developments of some provinces at the cost of other provinces throughout the country in the past years.

“People’s involvement in budgeting will bring more transparency in the projects as well as projects will be more useful,” he mentioned. Ali added that most of the ministries failed to implement projects on time and couldn’t spend their budgets effectively.

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