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42 MPs call for particular session for end to salary cuts by KRG

  2021-04-12  | 
 Zhyan News Network
The interior of the Kurdistan Parliament (File)
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – 42 lawmakers across the Kurdistan Region’s political spectrum have sent a letter to the Kurdistan Parliament’s presidency calling for an extraordinary session attended by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials to put an end to the salary cuts. 

In 2016, the KRG installed several austerity measures to purportedly fight an economic and financial crisis created by the war against Islamic State (ISIS) and Baghdad’s budget freeze in a bid to save some cash to pay its bloated wage bill, including slashing salaries by some percent monthly and withholding several other pays. 

In 2020, the KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani’s cabinet withheld five monthly pays and slashed others by 21 or 18 percent cuts to purportedly fight low oil prices, the COVID-19 pandemic and budget rows with the central government with Baghdad.

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 session is important especially when the Iraqi budget law for 2021 has already been approved and no excuses have remained for the KRG to not pay full salary monthly,” the lawmakers said in the letter, shared by lawmaker Sarchinar Ahmad.

“We hope the Parliament president to heed our memorandum and put it into the agenda of the Kurdistan parliament’s sessions,” Ahmah, who is from the Kurdistan Justice Group (KJG), said. 

Lawmaker Luqman Wardi told Zhyan News Network that KRG Minister of Finance and Economy Awat Janab had informed the lawmakers that the KRG will slash salary by twenty-one percent if Baghdad does not send any budget transfer. 

(Zhyan English)

*This story was updated at 03:04 pm EBL