Weekly Polling: Peace Talks

Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) held a polling on peace talks with MPS. This polling aimed to get the MPs views on government’s peace program which hasn’t been effective yet. Likely, the quartet meeting of the United States, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan to provide opportunities to achieve peace in Afghanistan was inconclusive.  Likewise, the MPs have always criticized government’s supplication policy toward government’s armed opponents. After, increase of insecurities in the country and Taliban’s recent suicide bombing on a federal agency in Kabul tasked with protecting senior government officials, the government held a consultative meeting with members of parliament to consult on peace talks and changing stance toward the Taliban. Then, given to article 64th of Constitution the president attended the extraordinary session of parliament on April 25, 2016 to specify the new stance of government toward the insurgents/Taliban. President of Afghanistan called the Taliban the enemies of the people of Afghanistan and emphasized that government is resolute to peace talks.

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Telecommunication mobile telephone tax revenue rejected by the Afghanistan Parliament

Date: October 16, 2015
Occasion: MPs plenary meeting
Subject: Discussion on Telecommunication mobile telephone tax revenue
Discerned by: The Parliamentary Monitoring team of the FEFA

The endorsed decree (#60 dated 26/05/1394) of the President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan H.E Ashraf Ghani declared on the 10% tax fee on the mobile telephone communications and has been officially applied by September 23, 2015 as of 1st Mezan, 1394. After the return of the Afghanistan Parliament Members from their annual leaves, on (22/05/1394) during the plenary meeting of the Parliament, this issue has been taken in the agenda of discussion. Parliament members voted on the issue as the result of votes (177 Negative and 08 Positive) and this decree has been rejected from the parliament side.
However, the communication fee tax is not a special case happening in Afghanistan but it has been practicing in world countries and remained a focal revenue support segment in their national budget. Turkey with the highest revenue 48% of the collected communication tax and the China with the lowest 3% of the annual collected telecommunication taxes and currently this system have implied in 111 worldwide countries with different percentages .
On (22/05/1394) the Parliament has evoked the Minister of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) to provide more clarifications on the mobile telephone tax fee issue but the minister did not attended, instead the deputy minister in Finance and Administration Affairs of (MCIT) has attended and he could not gained the contentment of the MPs. Locals and the MPs urges as of current statistics of the (MCIT), there are 23.21 million users of the mobile phone in the country , with simple calculations, in average if a single person utilizes 50 AFN in a day he/she will be taxed with 5 AFN per day; thus (23.21 user multiply with 5 AFN as a tax in a day is equal to 116.05 million of AFN per day) but the MCIT announced only 78 million AFN of tax fees collected within almost 20 days!

Plenary session- May 27, 2015:

The first deputy speaker of Wolesi Jirga has chaired the session with the participation of minister of Higher Education & Education and University exam committee members, as per agenda the discussion was on Problems in the quality of education, higher education and university entrance.
But According to the reports which provided by the minister of Higher Education and Education the MP’s were not satisfied, Abdul Zahir Qadir the first spoker of the lower house emphasized on serious reformation.

Plenary session- May 25, 2015

the session chaired by Abdul Raof Ebrahimi head of the lower house, According agenda, the discussion and polling was on Plants protection law and on quarantine, regulation plan and removal of some parts of the procurement law
As a result, with 127 positive votes and 4 negative votes the law was approved by the lower house.
In the second part of agenda, WJ discussed on Procurement & Higher Education law.
The government have asked WJ to refund the above two laws in an official letter, the government insisted that after the correction they will send back these two laws to the WJ for the approval. Finally the lower house put the above laws in to voting, the Procurement Law has been approved to refund with 112 votes in favor and 15 votes against by WJ, as well the Higher Education law has been approved to refund with 107 votes in favor and 20 votes against by WJ.

Plenary session- May 23, 2015:

The first deputy speaker of Wolesi Jirga has chaired the session and it continued by head of lower house Abdul Raof Ebrahimi, as per agenda the discussion was on Planning on adjustment of supervisory regulation law, this law has been developed in one chapter and eight articles. The mentioned law has been approved with 124 votes in favor and 4 votes against by the lower house.


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