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KRG should implement 4 provisions to receive budget transfers from Baghdad: MP

  2021-05-26  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Iraqi flag (L), Iraqi dinars or IQD (C ) and Kurdistan flag (R)- Graphic by Zhyan News Network
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Member of Iraqi parliament’s Finance Committee Jamal Kochar said on Wednesday (May 26) that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) should implement four provisions within the Iraqi budget law so that Baghdad will send the Kurdistan Region’s budget shares per month. 

The KRG should submit not less than 250,000 barrels of oil and half of non-oil incomes to the federal authority, Kochar told the Iraqi state-owned Iraqi News Agency (INA). 

The third provision is handover of the list of the KRG public sector employees, he said, noting the fourth is to allow the Federal Board of Supreme Audit, in coordination with its Kurdistan Region’s counterpart, to audit the Region’s accounts since 2003.

In late March, Iraq passed its belated budget law for 2021 after agreements between the Kurdish and federal authorities.

The approval of the budget law filled the Region’s civil servants with hopes it would put an end to salary cuts and delays imposed by the KRG for over a year.

KRG will receive 13.9 percent share from the estimated at 129 Iraqi dinars trillion ($89 billion) budget if it obeys its obligations in the budget law. 

Unlike the previous years, the KRG will not get any share if it fails to live up to its commitments. 

"Sending the Region's share of the budget depends on the application of these four paragraphs,” the lawmaker said. “the delegation of the Region must visit Baghdad and inform them of its readiness to implement all these conditions."

A KRG delegation is supposed to visit Baghdad for talks on the implementation of the budget next week. 

Kochar also called on the Iraqi government to send budget transfers to the Region. 

“If a defect is recorded, it is possible for the Iraqi central government to deduct it from the Region’s funds for the rest of the months."

Throughout 2020, the KRG missed five months’ worth of salaries to its public servants and paid one in full and slashed others by either eighteen or twenty-one percent citing the COVID-19 pandemic, budget with Baghdad and low oil prices. 

It paid all the first four months in 2021 so far by twenty-one cuts and has said it will pay May salary by the same cuts despite considerable rises in crude oil prices and the devaluation of the Iraqi dinars against the US dollars by over 25 percent.

Striking a pessimistic tone, another Kurdish lawmaker previously said that "the sections related to the Kurdistan Region’s budget share in the 2021 Iraqi budget law are not applicable." 

(Zhyan English)