Kabul: The Taliban have made a number of changes to the administrative system in Afghanistan since taking over the country on August 15, 2021.
And in a new wave of reforms, the hardline group has decided to completely dissolve five departments, deeming them unnecessary in the face of a financial crunch, an official said on Monday.
One of the major departments which faced the axe was the human rights commission – a key feature of the US-backed government.
As per the first annual national budget announced by the Taliban authorities after the takeover, Afghanistan faces a budget deficit of 44 billion Afghanis ($501 million) this financial year.
"Because these departments were not deemed necessary and were not included in the budget, they have been dissolved," Innamullah Samangani, the Taliban government's deputy spokesman, told Reuters.
Also dissolved were the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), the once high-powered National Security Council, and the commission for overseeing the implementation of the Afghan constitution.
The HCNR was last headed by former Afghan President Abdullah Abdullah and was working to negotiate peace between the U.S.-backed government of former President Ashraf Ghani and the then-insurgent Taliban.
In mid-August 2021, 20 years after invading Afghanistan, foreign forces withdrew from the country, leading to the collapse of the government and a Taliban takeover.
Samangani said the national budget was "based on objective facts" and intended only for departments that had been active and productive.
He added that the bodies could be reactivated in the future "if needed".
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 with an iron fist and implemented a harsh version of Islamic rule, including banning women from education and work. After taking over last year, the Taliban assured the world they would be more moderate.
However, they are yet to allow older girls to restart education and have also introduced rules that mandate that women and girls wear veils and require them to have male relatives accompany them in public places.