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Baghdad has sent salary transfer, but KRG has not distributed it: New Generation

2020-03-26

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SULAIMANI — The New Generation Movement on Thursday (March 26) called for an urgent parliamentary session to compel the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) to distribute salaries to public sector workers immediately.

In its statement, the Movement also urged the government to provide necessary medical devices and ventilators to all hospitals in all the cities, especially those that are tasked with treating coronavirus patients.

“The KRG should be obliged to help public sector workers and the employees of private sector companies now that their work has been suspended and they do not have any source of income, to help poor families and those in need who are in dangerous situation due to the spread of coronavirus in the Kurdistan Region, and to absolve people from paying water and electricity bills for three months,” it said in the statement.

Because of the lingering effect of austerity measures in response to the financial crisis that began in 2014, public sector workers in the Kurdistan Region are due several months back pay, in addition to portions of their salaries that were withheld by the government. The March 2020 disbursement is technically being paid for work performed in December of last year.

“Baghdad has sent the December 2019 salary transfer,” the Movement said. “But the government does not have any plan to solve this terrible situation being borne by the people, so the people’s eyes are on the Parliament and they expect a responsible answer.”

“Therefore, parliament should perform its role,” it added.

Earlier on Thursday, KRG spokesperson Jotiar Adil claimed that the government was waiting for Baghdad to send the money, which they will then distribute to the ministries to pay their employees.

An independent member of the Council of Representatives told NRT Digital Media that the federal finance ministry transferred funding for the KRG’s March salary disbursement during the first week of this month, contradicting Adil’s assertion. They did note, however, that this transfer was a week later than usual and added that the next transfer will take place in the next week or so.

Most salaries in the public and private sectors are paid in cash once a month, making distribution a potentially risky event in terms of viral transmission.

Nevertheless, as the lockdown continues, the cash reserves of many families are running low, hindering their ability to buy food and other supplies and making salary distribution of critical importance.

(NRT Digital Media)