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Kurdish MP wants Baghdad to monitor federal funds to KRG

  2021-02-26  | 
 Zhyan News Network
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – A Kurdish lawmaker has called on the Council of Representatives to monitor the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to make sure cashes the federal government sends for salary payments and other financial entitlements will reach the Kurdistan Region’s public servants and other beneficiaries.

“I have proposed to the Iraqi Parliament be a monitor over the Kurdistan Regional Government in order that the funds received from Baghdad for salary will reach the employees and other financial entitlements such as cashes for the farmers’[sold]  wheat ,” lawmaker Blesa Jabbar told Voice of America (VOA) on Thursday (February 26).

Jabbar, who is also a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), said that the budget bill is replete with many problems, including colossal deficits that force Iraq to borrow money from local and international banks and make reforms in its cash-strapped economy.

KRG and the federal government have been in long-running negotiations about how many barrels of oil the former should hand over to the latter to receive its budget share settled at 12.67 percent from the federal budget bill. 

According to the current federal  budget bill, the KRG is obliged to hand over 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) and an amount of non-oil incomes to the federal government.

“Of course everyone knows there is no transparency in the Kurdistan Region oil sales that has created a big problem for us from defending the case extremely,” she added.

Since January 2013, the KRG has been exporting its oil independently that stirred that then-cabinet of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to freeze the federal funds to the Region.

The two governments reconciled in 2020 and Baghdad sent some months’ worth of salaries but it withheld others accusing the KRG of not handing over any barrel of oil.

The Region increasingly depends on oil sales to feed its bloated wage bill, while the current cabinet of KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has promised to wean itself off  oil reliance on oi and take care of other sectors.

(Zhyan English)