Only 6% of 2018 government investment budget spent: economics expert


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SULAIMANI — An analysis by University of Basra economics professor Nabil Marsoumi of Ministry of Finance data show that only about 6% of the total federal investment budget for 2018 has been spent.

According to Marsoumi's analysis of actual spending for the first half of 2018, "the investment allocations planned in the budget were 24.605 trillion dinars ($20.667 billion USD), while the actual investment expenditure … was 1.486 trillion dinars ($1.248 billion USD)."

In light of this data, the actual implementation of the investment budget only accounts for slightly over 6% of what was allocated.

Commenting on the data on Facebook on Wednesday (September 12), Marsoumi said that "actual investment spending [is supposed to include] the development of regions, the revival of the Marshlands, and poverty alleviation, but does not include the spending of foreign oil companies operating within the licensing rounds." In other words, it is what the government spends on non-oil related projects.

He added that "investment is the nerve of development [because] it maintains existing productive capacities and adds to it, which creates jobs for the unemployed. Without it, economic performance and services in the country deteriorate and unemployment increases, as is currently happening in Iraq."

He called on the ministry to accelerate the pace that  investment money is being pumped into the Iraqi economy by funding productive projects and services that contribute to the development of the Iraqi economy and provide for the basic needs of the population.