The Taliban will start paying overdue wages to Afghan government workers

KABUL, November 20 (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s Taliban administration will begin paying the salaries due to state employees from Saturday, officials said.

Thousands of Afghan government workers owe at least three months’ wages, one of the many crises the Taliban have faced since the Islamist movement took over the country in August.

“The Ministry of Finance says that as of today, the salaries of all civil servants and employees for the past three months will be paid in full,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter.

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It was not immediately clear where the funds to pay the wages would come from.

Even before the Taliban seized control in late August, many government officials said they had not been paid for several weeks. After the movement took power, billions of dollars of Afghan government funds parked abroad in the United States and Europe were frozen.

Foreign governments have been reluctant to fund the Taliban-led administration directly to help with financial obligations such as paying workers. Global financial institutions have also stopped funding.

Following a meeting on Thursday between the special envoys from Germany and the Netherlands and Taliban officials in Kabul, the envoys expressed a willingness to explore paying health and education workers directly through international organizations.

It is unclear whether the Taliban’s announcement on Saturday is related to this.

Another Taliban spokesman, Inamullah Samangani, said on Twitter on Saturday that the Taliban administration’s daily revenue had increased daily.

“The Ministry of Finance says that in the last 78 working days of the last three months, we have generated revenue of about 26.915 billion Afghans ($ 288 million),” he said.

“We collected 557 million Afghans ($ 5.9 million) in revenue on Wednesday alone,” Samangani said, quoting the Ministry of Finance, adding that the payment of pensions to retired workers would also resume soon.

(1 USD = 93.3 Afghan)

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Reporting by Gibran Peshimam Editing by Ros Russell

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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