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Taliban’s first annual Afghan budget foresees $501m deficit


Taliban's first annual Afghan budget foresees $501m deficit
Afghan Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (Reuters)

Kabul: 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 PM 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.
In 2021, foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan, leading to the collapse of the government and a Taliban takeover. The country is dealing with 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 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 defence. “We’ve paid attention to education and higher education and our all focus is on how to pave the way education for everyone,” he said. reuters

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