Cabinet Meeting: President Says Extra Projects Cannot be Included in National Budget

Kabul (BNA) Addressing a cabinet meeting on Wednesday at the presidential palace, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said that extra projects cannot be included in national budget, adding that based on constitution, Parliament cannot take government’s position.

“In line with the constitution, the executive branch has the authority to prepare and present the national budget, and it is the duty of the parliament to collectively accept or reject it,” the president told the cabinet meeting, as quoted by the presidential palace statement.

The president also said that government doesn’t have the capacity to accept personal approaches to the national budget and include worth billions of extra small or big projects.

The president’s remarks came in reaction to Parliament’s rejection of the national budget a week ago. Wolesi Jirga or Lower House of Parliament rejected the new fiscal year’s budget due to “serious problems” which they said hinged on the disproportionate allocation of money including to emergency codes.

Meanwhile, Mir Rahman Rahmani, speaker of the House said the Wolesi Jirga was working on a plan to equalize civil servants’ pay “and will pursue it seriously until it is signed and implemented by the government to ensure equality. Rahmani also instructed the Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Budget to take this into consideration in the new fiscal year’s budget.

During the cabinet meeting, the president asked the State Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to finalize the legal procedures of those institutions established based on the presidential decrees via the country’s parliament.

At the cabinet meeting, the president also thanked Ministry of Information and Culture for initiating ‘History Week’, asking the cultural officials to prepare a well-managed plan for remembering the country’s great historians during the coming Solar Year of 1400.

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