Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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The Taliban government has proved surprisingly good at raising money

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The Economist, 20 May 2022

One reason for their success is that they have plenty of experience collecting taxes. During their two decades as a rebel army, they collected traditional tithes, such as oshr, a share of farmers’ harvests, and zakat, religious alms, in areas under their control. (…) Second, the Taliban have kept official revenues flowing. A handful of holdovers from the former government are maintaining sophisticated financial-management software set up by the American-backed regime to run their revenue-collection systems. (…)

The Taliban (…) have not published details of where that money will go (…). One hint comes from an interim budget covering the three months to March, in which the Taliban said they would devote about 40% of total spending to defence and security. This financial year, that share is expected to rise to 50%, a staggering sum given that the government faces no existential threats and at least half the country’s population is living on less than $1.90 a day.