The Taliban has released its first budget since taking over Afghanistan last year in August as the hardline Islamist regime is planning to spend on development projects including transport infrastructure. However, there is no mention of foreign aid.
The Taliban are set to announce their first annual budget in March and the budget of $508 million approved on Wednesday will cover the first quarter of 2022 and is almost entirely dedicated to funding government institutions.
“For the first time in the last two decades, we made a budget that is not dependent on foreign aid and that is a very big achievement for us,” said Taliban finance ministry spokesman Ahmad Wali Haqmal.
Haqmal said that the state workers will start receiving salaries by the end of January as there were reports that many workers have not been paid for months.
“It’s a small amount but that’s what we can do now,” Haqmal said on the highlight point that around 4.7 billion afghanis will be spent on development projects including transport infrastructure.
Another important point in the budget was the mention of women staff as they will also get paid. “We count them like they have come back to work. We have not fired them,” Haqmal said, adding that the Taliban exchequer is funded by “our own resources” including tax, trade and mining revenue, he added.
Economic crisis in Afghanistan
Afghanistan faced financial challenges after the Taliban’s control as some of the major donors halted their support for the country.
The economic crisis is not only because of the freezing of funds, but the country faced challenges of drought caused by global warming.
People in the country faced severe financial struggles as a recent report by AFP mentioned that many people in the capital Kabul resorted to selling household goods to buy food to eat, buy coal to heat their homes in the winter and fulfil other basic amenities.
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