Taliban’s first Afghan budget foresees a $501 million deficit

Afghan Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (Reuters)

Kabul: Afghanistan faces a budget deficit of 44 billion Afghans ($501 million) this fiscal year, Taliban authorities said on Saturday, without clarifying how the gap between projected revenues and planned expenditures will be closed.
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 was forecasting expenditures of 231.4 billion Afghans and domestic revenues of 186.7 billion. “The revenues are collections from departments related to customs, ministries and mines,” said Finance Ministry spokesman Ahmad Wali Haqmal.
In 2021, foreign troops withdrew from Afghanistan, leading to the collapse of the government and a takeover by the Taliban. The country faces economic collapse as 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 fiscal year, which runs until February next year, has been confirmed by Taliban supreme leader Haibatullah Akhunzada and that only local resources will be used. Development work would require 27.9 billion Afghans, he said, but gave no breakdown of defense spending. “We have paid attention to education and higher education and we are fully focused on how to smooth education for all,” he said. Reuters

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