Taliban begins paying civil servants' salaries in Afghanistan

World

Published: 2021-11-20 19:06

Last Updated: 2021-12-04 22:02


Source: Tribune India
Source: Tribune India

The Taliban announced Saturday that it has started paying the salaries of government employees who have not received their salaries since the return of the Islamic movement to power in Afghanistan, which caused a major financial crisis.

Most government employees have not yet resumed work in Afghan departments, and many of them have not been paid for months, even before the Taliban seized power, especially workers and employees in the countryside. 

"We will start paying salaries from today. We will pay salaries for three months," Ahmed Wali Haqmal, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance, said in a press conference.

He added that salaries will be paid for the period that begins on August 23, noting that the salaries of some employees will include the month prior to the Taliban's accession to power.

Haqmal explained that the payment will be made through the country's banking system, which, according to his description, remained operational and was not "paralyzed" after the fall of the previous government, but "just needs time to work normally."

But employees will still not be able to get their full salaries.

Since August, Afghanistan's banking sector has collapsed, with bank depositors struggling to access their money, with branches cutting withdrawals to $200 a week.

The financial crisis has worsened since Washington froze about $ 10 billion in assets belonging to the Central Bank of Afghanistan, and deteriorated further after the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund stopped their financing of the country that depends on foreign aid.

In the last 20 years, foreign donors led by the United States have contributed more than 75 percent of public spending under previous Washington-backed governments.

The rapidly deteriorating situation has forced Afghans to sell their belongings to obtain funds to buy food and other necessities as the value of the local currency has collapsed and prices have skyrocketed.

The authorities were in a position to pay salaries after collecting 26 billion Afghanis (about $277 million) in the past two and a half months, said Miraj Muhammad Miraj, a spokesman for the Government Revenue Authority.

He added in a press conference, "The economy was operating at a rate of 20 to 25 percent (...) and not all sectors are currently operating," noting that the authorities intend to impose a new Islamic tax to finance projects to help the poor and orphans.