Taliban refrains from disclosing budget, income in past two years

Taliban-run Ministry of Finance in Kabul. File photo.

For the past two years, Taliban has not disclosed the amount of its budget or overall revenues from customs offices and other income sources.

Taliban-run Finance Ministry announced that the budget document has been approved by its reclusive supreme leader, but did not share details of the budget.

On Thursday, May 23, Taliban announced that the budget document for the 1403 fiscal year has been approved by its leader, claiming the budget focuses on the priorities of the people.

However, Taliban remained silent on sharing the details about the amount of the budget for the previous year as well.

The last time the official page of the Taliban-run Ministry of Finance posted a budget document was for the Taliban’s three-month budget in the 1401 fiscal year.

Analysts have raised concerns, saying that lack of transparency in the budget increases the chances for misuse of national revenues and damages public trust.

“Not sharing the budget can lead to a decrease in public trust, reduced monitoring and accountability, and increased economic instability, as both domestic and foreign investors need this information,” said Mohammad Shafi, an economist.

The Taliban-run Ministry of Finance argued that the budget has been prepared based on domestic revenues.

“If these documents are not addressed through technical manners, they can cause serious problems in a country’s economy and also slow down the growth rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” said Siyar Quraisg, an analyst in economic affairs.

Clear figures about the amount of budget being allocated for development projects remain vague, as does the amount of budget for the security agencies.

Experts voiced frustration that the lack of an obvious and detailed budget will affect economic growth in the country.