Tue, Sep

Wolesi Jirga OKs 2 draft laws, 3 presidential decrees


afghan-parliamentThe Wolesi Jirga or on Wednesday approved two draft laws and three legislative decrees, allowing a 10 percent tax on telecommunication companies and doubling the toll tax on fuel and gas.

The draft law regarding the 10 percent tax on telecom firms, having three chapters and 14 articles, had been submitted for parliamentary approval by the government, a lawmaker said.

Qais Hassan, head of the lower house’s communications commission,presented the draft law to Wednesday’s session.

The amended law on the toll taxes was also discussed by heads of Wolesi Jirgacommissions.The toll taxes on fuel and gas have been increase from one afghani to two afghanis.The revenue would be spent on road maintenance, he said.

Earlier, the president had issued two legislative decree, but they were rejected by the lawmakers. The MPs called the decrees violative of Article 79of the constitution, he added.

Article 79 says: “During the recess of lawmakers, the government shall, in case of an immediate need, issue legislative decrees except in matters related to budget and financial affairs. Legislative decrees, after endorsement by the president, shall acquire the force of law.”

The article adds the legislative decrees shall be presented to the parliament within 30 days of convening of its first session. If rejected by the parliament, they become void.

Both draft laws were approved by the Wolesi Jirga by a majority vote. Three legislative decrees were also okayed by today’s session, Second Deputy Speaker Mohammad Nazir Ahmadzai told reporters.

One decree, having 11 chapters and 57 articles,concerned nuclear energy while a second pertained to the use of pesticides, Ahmadzai said. The third decree was regarding amendmentsto the procurement law.

“All steps taken by the government are aimed to make the countryself-sufficient. Support from the parliament in this regard is necessary,” said Minister of Finance Eklil Hakimi, who was also present in the session.