WJ warns MoF over Code-91 expenditure report

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirga warned it would summon the finance minister if he failed to provide the expenditure report of Code 91 from 1398 fiscal year. Codes 91 and 92 are two major monetary allocation of national budget for cautionary proposes and spending money from the codes is the authority of the president.

Mir Afghan Safi, head of the lower house Finance and Budget Commission, told a press conference here that the commission had been tasked to evaluate expenses from Codes 91 and 92 in 1398 fiscal year and share its report with the general session of the house. He said the commission has requested the MoF three times during the last one month to provide the expenditure report about the mentioned codes in 1398 fiscal year, but the ministry was yet to respond.

The Finance Ministry only provided the expenditure report of the codes from year 1399 fiscal year, but if it failed to provide the report of the previous year, the lower house would summon the finance minister,” he warned. Safi also said lawmakers would not go on winter recess until all problems in the codes were resolved and expenditure reports shared with them.

Abdul Azim Kabarzani, secretary of the commission, said that one billion afghanis had been approved for the Code 91 in 1398 fiscal year, but 1.83 billion was withdrawn from the code without approval from the Wolesi Jirga. He said any amendment in cautionary codes without approval from the Wolesi Jirga was a violation of the law.

He added that higher amount of budget was considered for codes 91 and 92 in 1396, 1397 and 1399. Kabarzani asked the Ministry of Finance to share the expenditure report from the mentioned codes belonging to 1398 fiscal year so people know where the money was spent.

However, Habib Rahman Zadran, deputy finance minister, said that various commissions of Wolesi Jirga had requested the information but the ministry had asked the house to specify the commission responsible for evaluating the mentioned codes. He said that the ministry had shared the information in its expenditure report of 1398 fiscal year with the house.

“If the Budget and Finance Commission of the lower house needs the required information, the ministry is ready to cooperate with the commission but the issue should not become political”, he said. The lower house has previously rejected the draft budget for fiscal year 1400 over elimination of 1,100 provincial projects and a surge in funds for government’s codes. However, the Presidential Palace approved the budget plan with a 20 billion afghanis increase and it would be sent to the Wolesi Jirga for final approval.