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Iraq budget is in danger, government looking for loans: finance committee member

2020-05-26

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SULAIMANI — Member of the Council of Representatives’ Finance Committee Jamal Kocher said on Tuesday (May 26) that Iraq is in danger of not being able to pay the salaries of its public sector employees because of the current financial crisis.

Kocher said that the Council of Representatives had banned the federal government from taking loans from banks or sources outside of Iraq, but had to reverse that policy because of the seriousness of the circumstances.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s financial advisor Mazhar Muhammad Salhi said on Friday that the government had taken a 3 trillion Iraqi dinar ($2.5 billion) loan from Rafidain, Rasheed, and Industrial banks in order to pay the salary of public sector workers.

Salhi added that the federal government will be forced to take on further loans next month as well, potentially from sources charging higher interest rates.

“There are some attempts to acquire the budget and to take loans from abroad, but it will take a long time,” he said.

More than 90 percent of Iraq’s budget comes from oil sales.

Global oversupply of oil and plummeting demand due to the coronavirus crisis sent prices crashing earlier this year.

(NRT Digital Media)