On 26th January 2017, EQUALITY for peace and Democracy shared main finding of its recent research report on “Independent Review of 1396 National Budget” with delegation of European Union to Afghanistan.
EPD during last 6 continues years, has reviewed Afghanistan national budget draft to provide better insights for community people and help them monitor service delivery process. It also gives insight to the national budget from a civil society perspective on national budget planning, execution, monitoring and reporting with special emphasis on the role of civil society and citizens in the entire process.
During the session, Mr. Edrees Omarzad; executive director of EPD presented the main finding of the research report giving an overview of the budget proposed for the coming year on the basis of Domestic Revenue, Donor Assistance, Ordinary Budget and Development Budget breakdown.
The proposed budget for FY 1396 is AFN 466.144 billion (USD 6.659 billion), which is 4.3% higher in comparison to the 1395 budget of AFN 446.606 billion (6.635 USD billion). The national budget is mostly financed by donor’s assistance, and loans. However ministry of finance is committed to increase the domestic revenue by generating new sources of income. The ministry is also bringing reforms to ensure greater transparency and accountability in process of national revenue collection.
According to the research report, security sector has received a high proportion of the budget but in comparison to the previous year it has decreased significantly. Considering the volatile security situation in Afghanistan, decreasing budget of this sector may lead to critical situations. Furthermore, Health sector is among sectors with low budget which seems to fail in meeting needs of the society in terms of health especially in rural areas.
This year the national budget included a gender analysis section as well. This section provides some analytical information about the ministries which has considered gender equality and attempt to fit their budget more gender responsive. However, a lot of work needs to be done to publicize and institutionalize GRB concept in most of the ministries.
Mr. Omarzad also criticized lack of CSOs involvement in the budget process. He stated that though ministry of finance invited CSOs to participate in budget hearing sessions but CSO played role of an observer and their opinions were not considered.
The session was concluded by posing questions by the participants which frequently was answered by Mr. Omarzad. In order to access more detailed information, please download our research report “Independent Review of Afghanistan 1396 National Budget Draft” by clicking on the following links: