The Taliban Rely on Domestic Revenue to Fund Their Government
Fighting poverty and unemployment is an important element of good governance. It is not yet clear how much this element will be considered by the Taliban government. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban and Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, said at a news conference on Tuesday that they would cover the country’s expenditures through domestic revenues.
“We rely on our net domestic revenues, customs revenues, and taxes,” Mr Mujahid added. “Afghanistan has domestic revenues – these revenues must be properly collected and managed.”
More than 60 percent of the previous government’s budget depended on aid from international community. Without foreign aid, the previous government could not provide the necessary funding for the country. The Taliban spokesman says that the previous government was spending most of its budget on the war, but now the war is over.
The cost of the 20-year US war in Afghanistan is estimated at $ 2.26 trillion, according to the War Cost Project. The bulk of that money ($ 933 billion) was spent by the US Department of Defense’s war budget.
The total budget of the previous government for 1400 was more than 473 billion Afghanis, of which 311 billion was the regular budget and 161 billion Afghanis was the development projects. 216 billion Afghanis of this budget was to be provided from domestic sources and the rest was from foreign aid. The previous government’s budget deficit for 1400 was about 37 billion Afghanis, 20 billion of which was to be financed from the former government’s reserves and the rest from the loans of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Abdullah Rasouli, a university professor and economist, told 8 Subh that if there was no war, the Taliban government would be able to fund the country from domestic revenues in the long run. Rasouli says about 65 percent of the previous government’s budget was spent on the military.
“In the short term, the Taliban will face a budget shortfall because international aid has been cut off,” he added. “On the other hand, the reserves of the Central Bank of Afghanistan have been frozen and no investment is being made in the country, while Taliban fighters are also demanding salaries. ”
According to Abdullah Rasouli, collecting direct taxes from individuals and companies, customs revenues, revenues from services, revenues from the country’s mines, and the sale and lease of government property are the most important sources of domestic revenue.
Zabihullah Mujahid said that domestic revenues had not yet been collected. “Changes have taken place in all the provinces, there have also been changes in the customs,” Mujahid added. We need to collect our income properly, and the banks must meet the needs of the people. Before we entered Kabul, the banks were stolen. Former officials have stolen millions of dollars.”
“Afghanistan’s reserves has been blocked abroad by the World Bank and some countries,” said Zabihullah Mujahid. “Banks are still not able to provide full services, which has caused us problems.”
Banks reopened in the center of the country two weeks ago, but operated with restrictions. The central bank, in coordination with the Union of Banks, has said that holders of individual accounts will not be paid more than $ 200 a week, or more than 20,000 Afghanis. Some banks in the provinces have not yet started operating. Residents of these provinces are also facing serious problems due to the closure of banks.
The Taliban have also announced remaining cabinet members on Tuesday, September 21. According to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, Haji Nooruddin Azizi has been appointed as the acting Minister of Commerce. Nooruddin Azizi is a resident of Panjshir province.
“The Ministry of Commerce has resumed operations today, the economic operations are starting again,” said Mr. Mujahid. “The poverty that the Afghan people are currently worried about will be resolved very soon. We have a responsibility to work very hard on this issue. We are working day and night to release the blocked money.”
The Inauguration Ceremony was Canceled
The inauguration of the Taliban government, which was to be held soon, was canceled. Zabihullah Mujahid says the cabinet inauguration has been canceled. According to him, spending time on a ceremony was a waste of time. It is better for the officials to go straight to work, because it is too late for the departments to be reactivated.
It should be noted that most offices are still not working properly. The closure of some government offices, especially the passport office, has created serious problems for the people.