KABUL: Transparency in Afghanistan’s budget making has increased from 42 to 49 in terms of scores over the past two years, but people’s participation in the exercise has decreased from 27 to 15 marks.
Syed Akram Afzali, Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) head, told a press conference here on Monday the IWA and the International Budget Partnership (IBP) had researched the budgets for 1394 and 1395 fiscal years.
He said a similar survey had been conducted in 1394 to assess the budgets for 1393 and 1392.The latest survey shows the budgetsfor 1394 and 1395 had seven more privileges than the 1393 and 1392 accounts.
Afzali urged the government to step up efforts at increasing transparency in the budget.About the fallinglevel of public participation in budget making, he said: “The decrease is a matter of concern. The budget will benefit only the elite if the public doesn’t participate in it,”
He believed public participation should increase, particularly at the provincial level. Afzali said the survey also assessed the performance of budget supervisors. From the budget observers, the Audit High Authority obtained 67 points, Wolesi Jirga 47 and civil society institutes 43.
Khalid Painda, deputy finance minister, said the Ministry of Finance (MoF) would benefit from the survey in preparing next year’s budget.
He asked budget supervisors to cooperate with MoF in bringing the budget to the required standard.
Amir Janyar, head of the Wolesi Jirga’s finance commission, said more efforts were needed for a standard budget and relevant organs should cooperate with the MoF in this regard.
The amount of revenue should increase so that most of the budget could be funded from national income, he suggested, saying the best budgetary plan was one that contained job-generating projects and increased revenue.