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June is decisive for budget agreement between KRG, Iraqi gov't

  2021-06-14  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Logos of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) [L] and Government of Iraq [R]
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – If the budget agreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Government of Iraq is not implemented within June that means neither side has the will to implement it, a lawmaker of the Iraqi parliament said on Monday (June 14).

“We are predicting that the agreement will be put into effect within the month,” lawmaker Shirwan Mirza, who is a member if the federal Committee of Finance and Economy Affairs, told Voice of America (VOA). “Otherwise, if it is not implemented within the month, it means they do not have the will to implement it.”

The KRG delegations headed by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani has visited Baghdad several times and met with the Iraqi officials for the implementation of the budget law.

“The Kurdistan Region’s delegation was upbeat with the agreement they made with Baghdad, except for their meeting the Iraqi finance minister,” the lawmaker said.

Baghdad is yet to send the first budget transfer to the Kurdistan Region.

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. 

“It is an illogical excuse if salary cuts continue… because its [KRG’s] incomes suffice for salary payment without cuts,” Mirza said.

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 five months in 2021 by twenty-one cuts despite considerable rises in crude oil prices and the devaluation of the Iraqi dinars against the US dollars by over 25 percent.

(Zhyan English)