Ghani Rescinds Order to Divide Finance Ministry

Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, acting finance minister, in a conference on Monday said that the president issued a new decree that no directorates of the Finance Ministry will be separated from the ministry.

Recently President Ghani in a decree divided the ministry into three separate directorates.

This decision of President provoked strong criticism from inside and outside the country.

“At our request, the president issued an order that no part of the Ministry of Finance would be separated,” said Arghandiwal.

The original decree would have divided the ministry into the office of revenues and customs, the office of the treasury, and the finance administration.

“Governance is based on belief and trust, and these kinds of decisions are often based on mistrust,” said Sayed Qeyas Sayedi, a university professor.

The officials of the Ministry of Finance in this meeting consider the spread of the coronavirus as a concern for the implementation of development projects and the reduction of government revenues.

“To date, 22 percent of the normal budget and nine percent of the development budget have been spent at the government level, which is 18 percent of the total budget consumption,” said Abdul Habib Zadran, deputy minister of finance and administration of the Ministry of Finance.

“To date, we have earned 55.1 billion afghanis and our target was 65.4 billion afghanis,” said Mohammad Esa Qudrat, the deputy minister of customs and revenue.

A number of Afghan lawmakers on Sunday said the first decree from the Presidential Palace to split up the Ministry of Finance into three separate directorates wa political and would weaken trust in the government among international donors.

On March 31, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) said that “dismembering” the Ministry of Finance in this manner would cripple it.

USIP in their report stated the organization’s belief that moving key ministry functions to the president’s office is “bad for governance, development, and the sustainability of peace.”

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