Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

The Cabinet Approved in Principle the Country’s National Budget 2019


The Cabinet Approved in Principle the Country’s  National Budget 2019

Last Wednesday, on October 24, the Presidential palace (Arg), announced that they had approved the draft budget for the fiscal year 2019, after holding a cabinet meeting. According to the presidential press office, the budget was approved at the cabinet meeting under chairmanship of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. During the meeting, President Ghani praised the election of the Wolesi Jirga, which was successfully hold in the center, and provinces of the country. The widespread participation of the people in this national process, the efforts of the candidates to mobilize the people for the vote and the sacrifice of national security forces were of the important of points of the national election, according to Mr. Ghani.
“Our prestigious people, with their broad participation in the election, proved that they believed in peace and freedom, they showed resistance against the threats, and accepted any victims for democracy and legitimacy “ he added. In fact, the election success has been the outcome of the successful performance of the country’s security and defense forces.
Then, according to the agenda, the acting minister of the Ministry of Finance presented the National Budget for Fiscal Year 2019, and after a comprehensive discussion, the Cabinet approved the budget in principle but for more specification they asked the Ministry of Finance to review the budget in consultation with the relevant ministers and heads of government departments. The cabinet meeting also mandated ministries and government departments to avoid buying luxury goods as considering the cost-saving principle.
The ceiling of national approved budget for fiscal year of 1398 is  399,417,934,931 (three hundred ninety nine billion and four hundred and seventeen million and nine hundred thirty four thousand and nine hundred thirty one) Afghani, including 275,223,837,836 ( Two hundred seventy five billion two hundred twenty three million eight hundred thirty seven thousand eight hundred and thirty six) Afghani for ordinary budget and an amount of 124,194,097,095 (one hundred twenty four billion one hundred ninety four million ninety seven thousand ninety fine) are allocated to the development budget, and an amount of 61,222,063,395 (sixty one billion two hundred and twenty two million and sixty three thousand three hundred ninety five) Afghani, as an optional developmental budget and an amount of 62,972,033,700 (sixty-two billion nine hundred seventy two million and thirty-three thousand seven hundred) Afghani are considered as non-optional development budget.
From the total amount for the fiscal year 1398, 188,005,594,664 (one hundred eighty eight billion five million, five hundred and ninety four thousand six hundred and sixty four), Afghani comes from domestic income and 199,015,897,364 (one hundred ninety nine billion and fifteen million eight hundred and ninety seven thousand three hundred and sixty four) Afghani are funded from foreign sources. The Total income or financing from domestic and foreign sources is 387,021,492,028 (three hundred eighty seven billion and twenty one million and four hundred and ninety two thousand and twenty eighty) Afghani. The acting minister added that domestic revenues are improving and it is projected to increase by 7.7% in fiscal 1398 compared to fiscal year 1397.
In addition to the above, the acting minister of the Ministry of Finance mentioned the increase of 1,043,689,689 (one billion and forty three million, six thousand and nine thousand six hundred eighty-nine) Afghanis to the cabinet meeting in the 1397 budget, adding that the increase was of Asia World Bank for developing projects of mines and petroleum ministries, finance, and the DAB. This was also endorsed by the Cabinet.
Then, the modifications to the national budget for fiscal year 1397 were presented by the finance acting minister. These adjustments include an increase in the optional development budget of 1397, Ministry of Public Health, Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Energy and Water, Public health, and the Directorate General Office of Presidential Administration. There is also a lack of tidy development funds for office projects that are not expected to be consumed in the fiscal year 1397. These adjustments were approved by the cabinet.
Similarly, the proposal for the purchase of seed wheat with government subsidy and its sale to farmers was submitted to the meeting by the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock. He said that the Ministry of Agriculture plans to purchase 10,000 metric tons of wheat seed from active seed production companies in the country, and, through the agricultural departments of the provinces, will be available to farmers in the country. Therefore, in view of the lack of production companies and the different price of seed prices in the provinces, the price of 50 kilograms of wheat was determined at a meeting of the National Board of Seeds of the Ministry of Agriculture at a cost of 726 AFN
Overall, from the total of 399 billion Afghanis national budget proposed, almost half of them will be paid for by Afghanistan’s domestic revenue and out of the total budget nearly AFN124 billion outlay is allocated for development in various sectors including Information Technology, agriculture, transit routes, and power generation. Comparing the past, the national budget rose from 377 billion Afghans in previous year to 99 billion Afghanis in the coming fiscal year. Thereafter, the adjustments to the national budget for fiscal year 1397/2018 were presented by the acting minister of Finance and the deputy Ministry of Finance was also approved by the cabinet.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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