From left to right; Kurdistan Justice Group (KJG) President Ali Bapir, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Co-President Bafel Talabani, Kurdistan Region’s President Nechirvan Barzani, Change Movement (Gorran) General Coordinator Omar Said Ali, and Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) Secretary Salahadin Bahadin are seen in a meeting in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, April 8,2021. Photo by Kurdistan Region Presidency
SULAIMANI – Kurdistan Region’s President Nechirvan Barzani and senior political leaders met in Erbil and hailed the passage of the draft 2021 federal Budget Law by the Iraqi parliament outlining the Kurdistan Region’s budget share.
On Thursday (April 8), Barzani met with Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Co-President Bafel Talabani, member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Political Bureau Fazil Mirani, Change Movement (Gorran) General Coordinator Omar Said Ali, Kurdistan Justice Group (KJG) President Ali Bapir and Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) Secretary Salahadin Bahadin.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of minorities, the Kurdistan Region Presidency said in a statement.
“The passage of the Iraqi Budget Bill was highlighted as a positive step towards improving the relations between the Kurdistan Region and the Federal Government,” read the statement.
On March 31, Iraq's Council of Representative passed the belated budget bill after several delays in recent months and disputes among the political blocs, especially between the Kurdistan KRG and the federal authority.
The budget’s article 11 stipulates that the KRG should abide by its obligations to hand over not less than 250,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) and an amount of non-oil incomes to the federal authority to receive 13.9 percent share from the estimated at 129 Iraqi dinars trillion ($89 billion) budget.
The budget law also obligates the KRG to abide by obligations to pay its bloated public sector employees.
“The implementation of the Budget Bill is essential for the economic recovery in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region with its positive impact on the resolution of the problems between Baghdad and Erbil on the basis of the constitution and within the framework of the federal system,” read the statement.
The cash-strapped KRG still struggles to pay its wage payroll on time and in full following the rise of the global crude oil prices.
It 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 in 2020 citing the COVID-19 pandemic, budget with Baghdad and low oil prices.