54pc of development budget spent last fiscal year: audit

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 02:53 Written by  Heart of Asia Published in Economy Read 259 times

Fifty-four percent of the government budget for development activities was utilized last solar year 1395 amid some violations in budget spending and zeroing spending on nearly 23 percent projects, an audit report released on Sunday said.

 

The audit report from the Supreme Audit Office was released by the commission concerned at a ceremony here.

The report said 90 percent of the general budget amounting to 298.1 billion afghanis was used last year but 54 percent of the development funds amounting to 172.3 billion afghanis were utilized.

In November last year, the Wolesi Jirga or lower house of parliament voted to sack seven ministers for using development funds below 70 percent.

The sacked ministers are yet to be replaced and their ministries are currently being run by acting ministers.

Syed Mehdi Hussaini, the deputy auditor general, and member of the audit commission, cited non-discretionary spending behind the delay in projects’ implementation and not spending enough budget. However, he did not name any government department for the under spending.

He said the government should increase its oversight on key projects and conduct midterm investigation and follow ups instead of increasing their costs and timescale.

The audit report shows 45 percent of the total budget for last solar year was generated from domestic resources, 55 percent from foreign resources. Domestic resources contributed about five percent to the development budget last year and 17 percent came from foreign resources.

More than two percent of the budget was obtained in loans and the budget deficit stood at six percent, the report shows.

Findings

The audit report also cited various violations by government departments in implementing projects. It also recorded the tour of 28 lawmakers to Turkey to attend the inauguration of a power project. The report said the Ministry of Finance skipped guidelines in appointing contract-based employees.

It said there was zero allocation for 158 projects of total 674 projects that worth implementation last year when the cost of another 192 projects was reduced by 50 percent and there was zero allocation for ten projects between 1395 and 1398.

Hussaini said out of the six billion afghanis to bailout the central bank, four billion afs has reached the bank, but the bank denied receiving anything from the Ministry of Finance.

He said the central bank claimed it had only received installments of loans issued to the Ministry of Finance.