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Taliban to start paying overdue salaries of Afghan government workers

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Economy1 hour ago (Nov 20, 2021 13:35)

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© Reuters. A Taliban fighter displays their flag as his comrade watches, at a checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan November 5, 2021. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

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KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s Taliban administration will begin paying the overdue salaries of government workers from Saturday, officials said.

Thousands of Afghan government workers are owed at least three months of salary, one of the many crises faced by the Taliban since the Islamist movement took over the country in August.

“The finance ministry says that, starting today, the past three months salaries of all government workers and staff will be paid totally,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

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

Even before the Taliban seized control last in August, many public sector workers said they had not been paid for 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 unwilling to fund the Taliban-led administration directly to help with financial commitments such as payment of workers. Global financial institutions have also halted funding.

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

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

Another Taliban spokesman, Inamullah Samangani, said on Twitter on Saturday that the daily revenue collections of the Taliban administration had been increasing daily.

“The finance ministry says that in the last 78 working days of the last three months, we have generated income of about 26.915 billion Afghanis ($288 million),” he said.

“We collected 557 million Afghanis ($5.9 million) in revenue on Wednesday alone,” Samangani said, quoting the finance ministry, adding the payment of pensions of retired workers would also resume soon.

($1 = 93.3 Afganis)

Taliban to start paying overdue salaries of Afghan government workers

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