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Ministries urged to spur development budgets spending

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Assistance to Legislative Bodies of Afghanistan (ALBA) in a joint venture with parliament and civil society launched a one-day conference to explore ways to nudge the government and its ministries to spur the spending of development budget.

The Deputy Speaker of the Meshrano Jirga, Muhammad Alam Ezedyar, said that political issues in the aftermath of recent election crisis had its negative impact on transparent and judiciously spending of development budget by government organizations.

Speaking at a press conference, Ezedyar said that dwindling international support and lack of capacity are other challenges that mar transparent spending of development budget.

He said that parliament and the civil society will explore ways to speed up the spending of development budget.

AnarKali Honaryar, a member of the budget and finance committee of the Meshrano Jirga, said that most of the ministries failed to spend 50 percent of their allocated budget. “Only few ministries have managed to spend 60 percent of their budget,” she added.

Rahim Jami, a civil society activist, said that there are no exact figures regarding implementation of uplift projects. He said that conference was aimed at devising a mechanism to enhance cooperation among the parliament, civil society, and government organizations to spur spending of development budget.

The Deputy Chief of the ALBA, Muhammad Housuf Ghaznavi, said that complicated procurement process, lack of capacity and some political issues were the main hurdles before spending of development budget.

He termed insecurity, delay in announcement of cabinet members and governors were also hampering implantation of uplift projects. “There were scores of project that were expected to be implemented last year, but are still to be kicked off,” he said.

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