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Afghanistan faces a budget deficit of 44 billion Afghanis ($501 million) this financial year, the country’s Taliban authorities said on Saturday without clarifying how the gap between expected revenues and planned spending will be met.

Announcing the first annual national budget since the Taliban took over the war-torn country in August last year, Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi said the government foresaw spending of 231.4 billion Afghanis and domestic revenue of 186.7 billion.

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