KRG delegation to visit Baghdad in coming days for budget talks: KRG minister

FILE: KRG Minister of Planning Dara Rashid (FILE)

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SULAIMANI — Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of Planning Dara Rashid said on Thursday (January 21) that a KRG delegation will travel to Baghdad on Saturday or Sunday for meetings with federal officials.

During a press conference, Rashid said that the KRG is hopes to reach an agreement with federal authorities about the draft 2021 Federal Budget Law, currently under consideration in the Council of Representatives.

“A high-level political delegation may travel to Baghdad later for the same purpose,” he said.

In late December, a KRG delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani returned to Erbil saying that a deal had been reached, but subsequent statements by KRG, federal, and party officials appeared to indicate that there was more work to be done.

During the press conference, Rashid also disputed rumors that the KRG will cut public sector salaries this coming month by 35 percent.

“That allegation is baseless and no decision like that has been made,” he said.

Regarding plans to draft a budget for the KRG, he said that his ministry is working to have one ready for the Kurdistan Parliament by March, which can then be implemented starting in April.

The Kurdistan Region has not passed a budget since 2013.

“If we reach an agreement with the [federal] government, we will have three sources of income, including the budget share coming from Baghdad, plus our oil and non-oil incomes,” Rashid said.

The minister is a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which holds the second-largest number of seats in the Kurdistan Parliament and is a member of the government along with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Change Movement (Gorran).

(NRT Digital Media)