The Lower House of parliament has once again rejected the budget on Monday with huge majority. A clash of parliament the Government becomes more aggressive when our rulers blatantly ignore our institutions without any respect. The parliament had rejected the budget last month with criticism and particular suggestions. But the stubbornness of our rulers is too much, and they think they can continue with it.
The Government had just increased 4 billion Afghanis after the previous rejection when the amount was 150 billion Afghanis. The development budget is 82.5 billion Afghanis. When presented on Monday, majority of the house present during the session, 86 members, rejected the draft and changes.
The Ministry of Finance has included $73 million for the troubled Kabul Bank. This move was strongly criticized by the parliament, as it should have been. Why should the taxpayers' money go to save and solve the problems of a corruption-related collapsed bank? Those who are responsible for the crisis of Kabul Bank should pay their loans back and the Government should make them to do this. But we know it is not going to happen. Because there are some big shots involved in the Kabul Bank saga, and now the government wants to save it.
The actual reasons behind parliament's first rejection of the budget were the "unbalanced" distribution of funds for all provinces. The budget did not focus on the poorest areas of the country, rather huge funds are allocated for areas that have already had many projects before.
The Government totally ignored the suggestions of the parliament and there were no changes in distribution of funds to different provinces, therefore a second rejection was the result. The geographical distribution of development budget is not balanced. The previous years' budget have been all focusing on some particular insurgency-hit provinces, while the peaceful parts of the country getting no attention.
Why should the Government add $73 million for Kabul Bank? This huge amount could be used for other development projects, but not supporting the corrupt elite of the Bank who caused all the crisis and now enjoy immunity from any punishment.
The Government must take the parliament serious and not make a mockery of peoples' representatives. Proper changes should be brought to the budget as per the suggestions of the MPs, otherwise this is going to cause serious problems for Government with halt of projects that need immediate funds.