Money-starved Taliban paying salaries in wheat to govt staff as financial disaster deepens

The cash-starved Taliban administration appears to have adopted the age-old barter system to pay out its lots of of staff.

On Tuesday, the Taliban mentioned that they are going to be paying the salaries of presidency staff with wheat donated to Afghanistan by overseas international locations, together with India, as they don’t have any cash to pay them.

Wheat, largely donated by India to the earlier US-backed Kabul authorities, is getting used to pay 40,000 employees 10kg of wheat per day for working 5 hours a day, agriculture officers advised a information convention.

The scheme, which has largely paid labourers on public works programmes in Kabul, will probably be expanded across the nation, they mentioned.

“We’re prepared to assist our folks as a lot as we are able to,” mentioned Fazel Bari Fazli, deputy minister of administration and finance on the Ministry of Agriculture.

Additionally learn | UN proposes to pay practically $6 million to Taliban for safety

Fazli mentioned that the Taliban administration has already obtained an extra 18 tonnes of wheat from Pakistan with a promise of 37 tonnes extra and is in negotiation with India for 55 tonnes.

“We have now a number of plans for meals for work programme,” he mentioned.

Additionally learn | To maintain support flowing to Afghanistan, US authorises sure transactions with Taliban

Nevertheless, it was not clear how a lot of the donated wheat could be used as direct humanitarian support and the way a lot to pay employees, Reuters reported.

On January 1, India’s Ministry of Exterior Affairs (MEA) introduced that it has dedicated to offering the Afghan folks with 50,000 MT of wheat, life-saving medicines, and Covid vaccines.

“In coming weeks, we will probably be enterprise the provision of wheat and the remaining medical help. On this regard, we’re in contact with UN companies and others to finalise the modalities for transportation,” it mentioned in a press release.

Worldwide sanctions on Taliban members, frozen central financial institution belongings and the sudden drop off in worldwide help that when shaped the spine of the financial system has left the Taliban authorities with restricted authorities funds and a rising financial disaster.

On Tuesday, UN companies requested donors for $4.4 billion in humanitarian support for Afghanistan in 2022, calling the funds an “important cease hole” to make sure the nation’s future.

(With inputs from companies)

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