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Afghan fiscal year to start from January

Afghan fiscal year to start from January

Oct 17, 2011 - 19:04

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): With a majority vote, the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon -- lower house of Parliament -- on Monday decided that Afghanistaninfo-icon's fiscal year start from January instead of April.

The decision was taken to avoid non-execution of development projects due to delays in approval of the annual budget by Parliament, a lawmaker told Pajhwok Afghan News.

MP Sadiq Ahmad Usmani, who is also member of the Wolesi Jirga Finance and Budget Commission, told the house four years of experience had shown that they had been unable to pass and distribute budgetary allocations to the departments concerned in three months time.

The current budget was approved after a two-time rejection on May 2 this year.

A lawmaker from Kabul, Syed Hussain Almi Balkhi, suggested budget preparations should begin in the first month of the winter, when development activities slowed down due to cold weather conditions. He said the decision would give MPs ample time to discuss budgetary allocations.

But a legislator MP from northern Badakhshan province, Shah Abdul Ahad Afzali, did not agree with the decision, saying there was no need to start the fiscal year from January. He feared the decision could create problems. "It is not important that we go by the wishes of donor countries."

But finance ministry spokesman Aziz Shams hailed the decision as prudent, saying it would help avoid delays in execution of development projects. Aid-giving nations approved funds for Afghanistan in January every year, he added.

ma/mud

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