Afghanistan: Graft 'eats 75% of govt revenues'

Kabul, 28 October(AKI) - Anti-corruption officials believe graft is eating up a staggering 75 percent of the Afghan government's revenues, a news conference heard on Wednesday. A senior official in Afghanistan's anti-corruption department, Muhammad Yasin Osmani, said most of the revenues were being wasted due to administrative corruption.

Imports were not being correctly registered in the country's customs offices, sub-standard items were being allowed to reach the market, and permits were being issued to people who are not traders and businessmen, Osmani said.

He also criticised the finance ministry' lack of proper control of purchase permits which allowed more corruption among government officials, decreasing national revenues.

Finance ministry spokesman Aziz Shams admitted government revenues were being squandered but said Osmani had over-dramatised the situation.

Shams told Afghan news agency Pajhwok that the anti-corruption department should share information it had on such a large scale corruption with the finance ministry.

Many graft suspects had been summoned before the attorney general's office to face disciplinary action and anti-corruption measures had put in place in the interior, justice and public health ministries , the attorney general's office and the Supreme Court.

Corruption is one of the main criticisms that has been levelled at the government of Afghan president Hamid Karzai.


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