Baghdad sent five months’ salaries to Kurdistan Region in 2019: KRG minister

KRG needs 881 billion dinars per month to pay salaries
KRG Minister of Finance and Economy holds a joint press conference with KRG Spokesman Safin Dizayee in Erbil, May 27, 2019.

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SULAIMANI — The federal government has transferred five months’ worth of employees’ salaries to the Kurdistan Region in 2019, said a Kurdish minister on Monday (May 27).

Minister of Finance and Economy Rebaz Hamlan also said that the central government made nine monthly salary transfers in 2018.

He added the government of Iraq had sent five months’ salaries of employees in 2019, three of which were given to employees as salaries for October, November, and December of 2018.

“The other two were also paid as salaries for January and February,” he added in in a joint press conference with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Spokesperson Safin Dizayee.

“We will continue to pay salaries.”

The salaries of the five months were equivalent to more than 2.266 trillion Iraqi dinars, according to the Kurdish official.

The KRG needs 881 billion Iraqi dinars per month to pay salaries of employees in full, Hamlan noted.

The minister of finance and economy denied that the federal government had transferred salaries of Peshmerga forces to the Kurdistan Region.

Referring to the Kurdistan Region’s work with Baghdad, Hamlan said both sides have a “very good relationship.”

Under the terms of the federal budget law passed in January, the Kurdistan Region should submit 250,000 barrels of oil per day to the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO).

In return, Baghdad will transfer 12.67 percent of the federal budget to Erbil.

If there is a dispute, the central government is legally obligated to transfer enough money to pay the salaries of public sector workers in the Kurdistan Region, including Peshmerga.

At the moment, the Region is not transferring the required amount of oil, claiming that it has certain contracts to fulfill first. It appears that Baghdad is being tolerant of that for the moment and has been meeting its obligations under the budget law.

(NRT Digital Media)