Members of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Afghan Parliament) summoned the finance and economy ministers as well as the National Procurement Authority officials to discuss government’s development projects and the uplift budget spending issues in the first sixth months of this fiscal year. The finance minister Eklil Hakimi said government has spent 15 percent of its development budget in the first six months of the current fiscal year. “According to the information which I received today (Saturday), at least 15.5 percent of the (development) budget has been spent (by government institutions). This is not acceptable for me, too,” said Hakimi. The National Procurement Authority director Yama Yari meanwhile labeled lack of capacity in procurement, insecurity and corruption as main reasons for insufficient budget spending in government institutions. “Lack of capacity in procurement and negligence of (a number of) ministries in implementation of their projects are the main problems and we as an observer institution have been tired of this situation,” he said. “Corruption is another problem besides insecurity which delays the implementation and evaluation of government’s projects,” said Abdul Satar Murad, the minister of economy. Meanwhile, the Wolesi Jirga speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said the answers provided by the government officials “were not convincing”. “The answers which we heard from the honorable officials could convince the parliamentarians,” Ibrahimi said. A number of MPs said the National Procurement Authority is an obstacle for the implementation of development projects. But, the procurement authority officials said they reject the projects which are in violation of government laws.
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