Economy16 hours ago (May 14, 2022 09: 35AM ET)
(c) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Afghan Deputy Prime Minister Mawlavi Abdul Salam Hanafi speaks during a ceremony to raise the Taliban flag in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 31, 2022. REUTERS/Ali Khara/File Photo
By Mohammad Yunus Yawar
KABUL (Reuters) – 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 Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi said the government foresaw spending of 231.4 billion Afghanis and domestic revenue of 186.7 billion.
The revenues are collected from departments related to customs and ministries, mines,” Ahmad Wali Haqmal, a spokesperson for the Finance Ministry said.
Since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, successive Western-backed governments relied mostly on foreign aid. In August 2021, foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan, leading to the collapse of the government and a Taliban takeover.
The world has yet to recognize the Taliban government. The country is dealing with rising security issues and 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 approved by the council of ministries and confirmed by the Taliba