KABUL (SW) – In a video conference with security officials and 34 provincial governors, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has called for robust collection of tax revenues.
According to the press statement, President Ghani instructed security officials and governors to increase their scrutiny and oversight of customs activities and transparency in order to increase national revenue in a timely manner.
Ever since, governors in various provinces have warned that tax evaders will be dealt with seriously.
Nimroz governor, Syed Wali Sultan, has confirmed the nationwide drive of increasing national revenue in the province. He stressed no one can extort money from customs.
Nangarhar governor, Shah Mahmoud Mikhail, has also ordered the provincial revenue officials to seriously prevent the tax evasion in order to increase national revenue collection.
The governor of Takhar has also confirmed that the President has emphasized upon collecting revenue.
However, a number of provincial council members and political and civil activists find the move questionable. Herat provincial council member, Kabir Isar, raises the question of why the President has not pressured governors in the past five years to avoid tax evasion and improve national revenue collection. According to him, there is a suspicion that the government is trying to fill the empty government coffers.
Davood Erfan, a professor at the University of Herat, also believes that the State Builder team led by Ashraf Ghani has spent a lot of money of the treasury on campaign, and the President is likely to press the governors to try to fill the ‘empty’ government treasury. He called on election commissions to determine the amount of election campaign spending.
A number of civil activists also accuse the State Builder led by Ashraf Ghani of using government money in election campaigns and say the President's pressure on governors indicates that the President is trying to fill the government's ‘empty coffers’.
According to the election commission, the cost of the “State Builder” led by Ashraf Ghani was AFN 2.5 million, topping the list in terms of election costs.
We tried to get the State Builder team view in the report as well, but we failed to succeed.