Afghanistan shifts development budget to defence projects

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The government’s revenues have reduced as six customs offices have fallen to the Taliban in recent weeks….reports Asian Lite News

Afghanistan government has stopped all development projects following a reduction in revenues and escalation in security expenses, local media reported Tuesday.

Based on the decision, the budget for “optional projects” or the ones that are implemented by the government but funded by donors have been stopped, Tolo News reported citing The Finance Ministry of Afghanistan.

“The electronic identity cards and passport services, as well as the payments of civil service employees and other services by the government, will continue as normal,” said Rafiq Tabi, spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.

The government’s decision to stop all such projects has received criticised with one lawmaker censuring the administration’s delay in sending the report of its mid-year review of the budget.

“The fact that they have stopped the development projects is itself considered an achievement for the Taliban,” a university lecturer and analyst, Sayed Massoud said.

The government’s revenues have reduced as six customs offices have fallen to the Taliban in recent weeks. Analysts said the government needs to implement plans to return the development projects to normal, Tolo News reported citing sources.

Afghan’s budget for the current fiscal year is over 473 billion Afs (nearly USD 6 billion), including 311 billion Afs (USD 4 billion) for regular projects and 162 billion Afs (USD 2 billion) for the development projects.

Members of parliament attend the inauguration of the new parliament in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan

Besides, restricted development projects, violence in Afghanistan has also led to the humanitarian crises in the country, almost half of the country’s population is in need of humanitarian assistance and a third of children under five are also facing acute malnutrition.

Meanwhile, at least 10 civilians were wounded in mortar attacks in Dand district and Kandahar city on Tuesday, Tolo News reported.

Earlier in the day, at least four civilians were killed and five others suffered injuries in a blast in Kabul city.

Afghanistan is witnessing a surge in violence across the country as the Taliban make rapid advances and taking control of more and more territory in the war-torn country.

Taliban has intensified its offensive against civilians and Afghan defence and security forces as foreign forces are withdrawing from the war-torn country.

As the Taliban have taken control of several districts across the country, US intelligence assessments have suggested the country’s civilian government could fall to the terror group within months of US forces withdrawing.

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