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Baghdad to send 200bn IQD to Kurdistan on Monday: sources

  2021-07-11  | 
 Zhyan News Network
A man holds money at a foreign currency exchange market in Baghdad, Iraq, December 20, 2020. (REUTERS)
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – The Iraqi ministry of economy has expressed willingness to transfer long-awaited 200 billion Iraqi dinars (about $137m) to the Kurdistan Region, a source from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) told Zhyan News Network on Sunday (July 11).

The money is yet to be deposited to the bank accounts run by the KRG, the source said. “No intention by Baghdad for a monthly budget share,” contrary to a so-called recent agreement between Erbil and Baghdad.

The KRG’s Ministry of Finance and Economy, however, said “Today the first amount of money, which is 200 billion dinars, was deposited by the Iraqi federal government to the bank account of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Finance and Economy, in a branch of Iraqi Central Bank in Erbil.”

Another source from Iraq Central Bank told Zhyan that Iraq’s minister of finance Ali Allawi has signed a paper approving the transfer of 200 billion Iraqi dinars “for one month.”

“Technical issues prevented the money to be deposited today to the Kurdistan Region’s bank accounts,” he said.

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

Baghdad has not sent a budget transfer to Region as of yet.

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.

The KRG should spend the money on public sector pay in accordance with the fourth clause within the Iraqi budget law’s Article 11,  Iraqi parliament lawmaker Rebwar Karim said in a Facebook post.

“The money should be adding to the money spent for salary in the Region, thereby the salary cuts will be revoked,” Karim said. “When the Region says I want to adhere to it, thus it should adhere to it taking into consideration  all laws.” 

In an announcement signed by twenty-five lawmakers across the political spectrum except for the Kurdistan democratic Party (KDP).

The lawmakers are calling on the KRG “to spend the amount of money for salary of the Kurdistan Region’s public sector employee, other than any other scopes,” lawmaker of the Kurdistan Parliament Shady Nawzad 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 past six 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)

*This story was updated at 11:01 pm EBL on Sunday (July 11)