The Ministry of Finance (MoF) said on Saturday the 2016 draft budget has been prepared keeping in mind available funds and effectiveness of development schemes, stressing its approval by the Wolesi Jirga would be in the best interest of the country.
The Mesharano Jirga has approved the accounts and has sent the document to the lower house for approval. The draft budget is being debated by lawmakers and various commissions of the lower house.
A majority of the lawmakers said most of the development schemes mentioned in the document were old and no balance has been maintained among provinces in this regard.
Abdul Rahman Halimi, the budget department head at the Ministry of Finance, said 283.3 billion afghanis had been set aside for general expenses and 178.5 million for development activities in the draft budget.
According to the finance minister, there is a six percent increase in the outlay over the previous year. The minister had said 50 percent of the general and 89 percent of the development budget would come from foreign aid.
In the coming year, security, education and health sector would get greater allocations, with the government focusing its attention on mega development projects. Small projects will be completed if funds are available.
According to Halimi, 47 percent of the development funds would be spent on infrastructure development and exploitation of natural resources which would help generate jobs.
He said the use of entire development budget would help create 150,000 jobs and the Education Ministry would be able to enroll another one million children in schools.
Currently, the country has been struggling with unemployment and most of the youth have left Afghanistan for foreign countries.
About inter-provincial imbalance, Halimi said: “Every province is precious and dear to us.” He said 80 percent of the total development budget would be spent on development projects which had been given priority and had countrywide effect.