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Judge resigns over KRG continued salary cuts

  2021-05-27  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Judge Goran Barnzji at the bundling of Kurdistan Region Judicial Council after presenting his resignation letter over the continued salary cuts by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, May 27,2021. Photo by Zhyan News Network/ Screenshot
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – A judge in Soran district stepped down and presented his resignation letter to the Kurdistan Region Judicial Council as the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) carries on to slash salary by twenty-one cuts despite the devaluation of the value of Iraqi dinars against the US dollars and rising crude oil prices. 

“We think there should be rule of law in the Kurdish community. In that regard, we thought the incomes in the Kurdistan Region suffice for the salary of the Kurdistan Region public servants and running the state affairs,” Judge Goran Barnzji working at a court in Soran district said in a statement in Erbil.

“The lawmakers are accusing each other that the incomes of customs and oil are not necessarily returned to the state treasury, that is a corruption and entails us to make a civil pressure to bar that corruption,” Barnzji said.

He also said that the continued salary cuts are a violation to the agenda of the ninth cabinet headed by KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani boasting off “countering corruption and real reforms” in the incomes.  

The Iraqi parliament passed a budget law in late March after agreements between the Kurdish and federal authorities that filled the public sector employees with hopes that it would be a favorable ground for the KRG to end salary cuts and delays in effect for over a year. 

Baghdad has not yet sent a budget transfer to the Kurdistan Region and each parties accuse the other of contravening the provisions of the budget law.  

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

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

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 payment scheme. 

On Wednesday, member of Iraqi parliament’s Finance Committee Jamal Kochar said that the KRG should implement four provisions within the Iraqi budget law so that Baghdad will send the Kurdistan Region’s budget shares per month. 

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)