By: Shukria Kohistani
KABUL: Following coronavirus outbreak in Afghanistan, national revenues have started to get reduced. The ministry of finance says national incomes have reduced by 18 percent comparing to last year.
Officials for the ministry of finance have considered reduction in imports, suspension in private sector and not paying taxes by traders as the main reasons in reduction of national incomes in the country.
The ministry of finance has informed of reduction in national revenues at a time when World Bank pledged to provide assistance to Afghanistan to solve its economic problems. Previously, Afghanistan ministry of economy had said in consideration to recording first cases of COVID19 in the country, Afghanistan economy would face with the loss of 324 billion AFG and the number would increase with increasing number of positive cases for COVID 19 in the country.
Based on information of the ministry of finance, national revenues have faced with 18 percent drop comparing to last year.
“The ministry of finance has found that national revenues of the country has dropped by 18 percent comparing to last year and the issue has been shared with the commission of finance and budget of parliament,” said Shamroz Khan Masjidi, a spokesperson to the ministry of finance.
He added that currently nearly 4,000 importing goods’ containers were stopped in Torkham port and a number of containers which have been imported to Afghanistan have not paid their taxes.
According to the ministry of finance, the ministry has collected nearly 60 billion AFG incomes so far, showing considerable reduction in national revenues putting negative impact on the country’s economy.
“Suspension of work of the country’s private sectors has resulted in reduction of national revenues,” Masjidi said, adding that the government’s service fees have been also stopped.
Previously, acting minister of finance Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal in a meeting with members of parliament’s finance and budget commission had said that World Bank has pledged it would help Afghanistan towards solution of economic problems.
Based on agreement between Afghanistan government and World Bank, it is determined that the bank will provide the money that has been spent from the national budget by Afghanistan government.
Officials for the ministry of finance have said that they have been able to save 1.7 billion AFG in the budget during the period of quarantine and lockdown.
Meanwhile, Afghan experts consider such reduction in the country’s national revenues as natural, but asking the government to hold a meeting to resolve the issue.
The issue of reduction in national revenues has come amid of expansion of coronavirus outbreak in the country as Afghanistan government has allocated a large amount of money to fight coronavirus in the country.
Based on information of the ministry of economy, Afghanistan economy will face with 324 billion AFG loss following expansion of coronavirus in the country. it is said that the situation can directly put negative impact on works of Afghans and both private and government sectors in the country. Currently, nearly 40,000 manufacturing companies and 10,000 services companies have been suspended due to coronavirus outbreak and lockdown in the country.
It is worth mentioning that coronavirus outbreak is the rise in Afghanistan as the number of positive cases for the COVID19 in the country has reached to 1828. The number of recovered cases in the country is 228, while 58 others have died. The number of deaths from the COVID-19 globally is more than 211,216, and more than 3 million have been infected with the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.