KRG delegations to visit Baghdad to discuss 2020 budget, census

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Council of Minister meet on Wednesday, September 11, 2019. (Photo credit: KRG Website)

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SULAIMANI – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Council of Ministers met on Wednesday (September 11) and decided to send two committees to Baghdad in the coming weeks for talks over the 2020 federal budget and the upcoming national census.

Negotiations over the next budget are expected to be somewhat tense, given the failure of the KRG to meet its obligations under the 2019 Federal Budget Law. In response, Baghdad has limited budget transfers to the Region, only sending funds to pay public sector salaries.

Talks have been ongoing all summer in an attempt to address concerns about the 2019 law, but increasingly the 2020 budget process is taking center stage.

The Council of Ministers said in a statement published on its website that the committee tasked with handling the budget issue would visit Baghdad for an update and to exchange views with officials there before reporting back.

During the meeting on Wednesday, KRG Planning Minister Dara Rashid Mahmud reported on preparations for a federal census that is supposed to take place in 2020, including those being made by the KRG.

The committee tasked with the census issue will ensure that the interests of the residents of the Kurdistan Region, with all its religious and ethnic components, are taken into account, the statement said.

“A delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government will meet with the Kurdistan Parliament to present necessary date and information about discussions between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government,” the statement added.

The KRG cabinet also said that it has invited lawmakers from Council of Representatives to visit the Region for talks, including those from the Oil, Energy and Natural Resources, Legal Affairs, and Finance committees.

(NRT Digital Media)