Officials at the Afghan Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Tuesday reported that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has made available 75 million USD in aid, so that the government can ensure salary payments for all public employees are paid.
The money is the response to the Afghan government's urgent request for 537 million USD in emergency financial aid a couple months ago when it began to face major budget shortfalls under former President Hamid Karzai. According to MoF officials, USAID has pledged to provide an additional 25 to 50 million USD soon.
"We asked for 537 million dollars from the donors and received 75 million of the amount and more aid is coming in," said Noor Aqa Kohistani, the head of the Treasury Department at the Ministry of Finance. "Soon we will receive 25 to 50 million additional aid."
Meanwhile, referring to the budget deficit issue, Parliament's Commission for Financial and Budgetary Affairs claimed that the lack of transparency and incompetence are the two major causes for the decline in public revenues and ineffective, wasteful spending habits.
Many MP's focused on how the government could accrue more funds, and advocating for higher duties on trade along its borders, instead of how the government could be more frugal and careful with the money it has.
"There is need for serious monitoring at customs to avoid budget deficit and decline in the country's revenue," MP Habiba Danish said on Tuesday. "There should effective monitoring in customs of the country, because incomes and taxes collected from custom must be transferred to the national treasury and not to the pockets of individuals," Danish added.