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Domestic revenues increase by 119pc: MoF

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Minster of Finance, Muhammad Eklil Hakemi, reported over 119 percent increase in domestic revenues, saying that Afs114 billion will be collected this year as compared to the Afs99 billion collected in the last decade.

Responding to questions of the members of the Wolesi Jirga on Monday, the minister said that Afs94 billion were collected in last ten months and Afs20 billion will be collected within the next two months.

The World Bank (WB) would give $75 million as “encouragement fund” to the Afghan government for the outstanding increase in domestic revenues, Hakemi said, adding that the amount of revenues would increase three times further after receiving the funds from the WB.

Briefing the lawmakers over the factors that increased the domestic revenues, the minister said that the anti-corruption campaign of the government was yielding positive results. “Collection of taxes from the state enterprises is also part of the government efforts. Afs700 million was collected only form coal mine enterprises. We are working hard to root out corruption,” said Hakemi.

Regarding the budget spending, he said that over 60 percent of the ordinary budget has been spent in the past 10 months and the remaining would be spent by the end of current fiscal year.

“The probationary and none-probationary development budget has been spent 35 and around 65 percent. The total budget will be spent till the end of this fiscal year. The probationary development budget has been increased for the first time when compared to the none-probationary budget,” he said while terming the budget balance.

The international donors have pledged to provide $2.8 billion through the Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) for developmental projects for the next three years. The WB has pledged to provide $630 million and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged $1.1 billion in the coming three years for the specified reconstruction projects, he added.

The US has pledged $720 million for the current fiscal year and around $740 million for the fiscal year. When President Ashraf Ghani visited the US, the Obama-administration has promised to provide $800 million in next four months, maintained the minister.

He further said that he European Union has pledged $1.5 billion. Germany has pledged $470 million to Afghanistan for the next three years. Japan, Canada, Australia and China have also promised to provide financial assistance to the Afghan government. China will donate $350 million for the next three years.

He said that Muslim countries, including the Gulf states, were asked for financial support. Kuwait has pledged $70 million to support the education sector and an agreement has been signed with Kuwaiti officials in this regard. Kuwait will pledge $50 million more, added Hakemi.

According to him a special conference on support to the Afghan security forces will be held next year in Warsaw. Leaders of the NATO member countries will participate in the summit to recommit their supporting for Afghan security forces from 2016 to 2019.

After two months, another international summit will be held in Brussels where finance ministers of the donor countries will participate to renew their commitments for development of Afghanistan. A new national economy strategy   will be formed and provided to the international partners at the summit, said the minister.

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