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KRG delegation to visit Baghdad for budget implementation talks

  2021-05-19  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani meets with German Consul General in Erbil Klemens Semtner in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, May 18,2021. Photo by KRG
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – A Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) negotiating delegation will travel to Baghdad for talks on the implementation of the 2021 Iraqi budget law passed in late March, KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said on Wednesday (May 18). 

Talabani’s statement came after he met with German Consul General in Erbil, Klemens Semtner, to discuss relations between the Kurdistan Region and the federal government, the upcoming Iraqi elections, and other regional development, read a KRG statement. 

On March 31, Iraq's Council of Representative passed the belated budget bill after the Kurdish and federal authorities reached an agreement. 

The passage of the law has filled the public servants in the Region with hopes it may lead to an end to salary cuts scheme imposed by the KRG for over a year. 

The KRG can pay full salary to its publci servants with Baghdad's funding, said a lawmaker on Saturday. 

Baghdad is yet to send the first budget transfer to the Kurdistan Region. 

“The relations between Erbil and Baghdad have improved thanks to an ongoing dialogue between the two governments, especially following the passage of the 2021 Federal Budget Bill,” Talabani said.

He noted a KRG negotiating delegation will be in Baghdad for talks on “the implementation of the budget law, its different provisions, and the rights and duties of both governments.”

KRG will receive 13.9 percent share from the estimated at 129 Iraqi dinars trillion ($89 billion) budget if it obeys its obligations in the budget law. 

Unlike the previous years, the KRG will not get any share if it fails to live up to its commitments. 

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 March and April salaries by 21 percent.

Striking a pessimistic tone, a Kurdish lawmaker said a few days ago that "the sections related to the Kurdistan Region’s budget share in the 2021 Iraqi budget law are not applicable." 

During the meeting with the German diplomat, Talabani raised concerns about the upcoming Iraqi election, and urged the international community to help create conditions for free, fair, and credible elections.”

Iraq is to hold an early parliamentary election on October 10.

(Zhyan English)