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Taliban's first annual Afghan budget foresees $501 million deficit

Economy May 14, 2022 09:35AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Afghan Deputy Prime Minister Mawlavi Abdul Salam Hanafi speaks during a ceremony to raise the Taliban flag in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 31, 2022. REUTERS/Ali Khara/File Photo

By Mohammad Yunus Yawar

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan faces a budget deficit of 44 billion Afghanis ($501 million) this financial year, the country's Taliban authorities said on Saturday without clarifying how the gap between expected revenues and planned spending will be met.

Announcing the first annual national budget since the Taliban took over the war-torn country in August last year, Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi said the government foresaw spending of 231.4 billion Afghanis and domestic revenue of 186.7 billion.

"The revenues are collections from departments related to customs, ministries and mines," spokesman for the Finance Ministry Ahmad Wali Haqmal said.

Since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, successive Western-backed governments relied mostly on foreign aid. In August 2021, foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan, leading to the collapse of the government and a Taliban takeover.

The world is yet to officially recognise the Taliban government. The country is dealing with rising security issues and an economic meltdown, while aid agencies figure out how to help 50 million Afghans without giving the Taliban direct access to funds.

Hanafi said the budget for the current financial year, that runs to next February, had been approved by the council of ministries and confirmed by the Taliban's supreme leader Haibatullah Akhunzada, and would use local funds only.

Development works would take up 27.9 billion Afghanis, he said, but did not provide a breakdown of spending on areas such as defence.

"We have paid attention to education, technical education, and higher education and our all focus is on how to pave the way education for everyone," Hanafi said.

Taliban authorities are yet to allow the restarting of older girls' education across the country after committing to a start date earlier this year.

($1 = 87.7500 afghanis)

Taliban's first annual Afghan budget foresees $501 million deficit
 

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Comments (2)
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren May 14, 2022 1:46PM ET
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This headline should read, " Mourners visit the Taliban memorial on the 20th anniversary of the United States retribution for the 9/11/01 terror attacks." I don't understand why the Taliban still exists. I don't understand why Biden armed them with 800 billion dollars of American weaponry.
Jam Tha
Jam Tha May 14, 2022 1:46PM ET
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after killing millions poor and helpless innthe name of WMD and terrorism US still exist
Ronald Nadel
Ronald Nadel May 14, 2022 11:30AM ET
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Remember this disaster in November.
Bruno Ayala
Bruno Ayala May 14, 2022 11:30AM ET
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What makes you say by November?
 
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