SULAIMANI – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Finance and Economy Affairs has decided to log all the salaries withheld in 2020 from public sector employees as debts, likewise several salaries it did not pay in 2016 and 2017.
The KRG started withholding salaries in 2016 following the budget freeze by the federal government and the recapture of the disputed oil-rich governorate of Kirkuk by the federal security forces that reduced almost 60 percent of its capacity to export oil.
The KRG distributed five salaries last year, four were slashed by eighteen and twenty percent. The withheld salaries were for April, May, June, July, August, November and December, according to a written document signed by the Finance and Economy Affairs Minister Awat Janab on February 23.
The public servants always wonder how and when their unpaid salaries are paid following the rise of the global oil prices.
The current cabinet headed by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani sounded an upbeat mood at the outset of this year that it would pay its public servants in 30 days and make abundant job opportunities in the private sector.
It has cut off pays for January and February by twenty-one percent this year.
The KRG and the federal government have been in long-running negotiations regarding the amount of oil or in-kind and a portion of non-oil incomes it should submit to the federal authority to receive its budget share in return.
The public sector is the largest employer in the Kurdistan Region, almost nearly half of the Region’s holding government jobs, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).