KRG delegation has no leverage over budget process: MP

Member of the Council of Representatives’ Finance Committee Jamal Kochar speaks to NRT Panorama program in Baghdad, Iraq, January 24, 2020. (Photo Credit: NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — Member of the Council of Representatives’ Finance Committee Jamal Kochar said on Saturday night (January 23) that the latest Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) delegation sent to Baghdad holds no leverage and cannot affect the federal government’s budget decisions.

During an interview on NRT’s Panorama program, Kochar said that the federal authorities will determine the budget share of the Kurdistan Region and the governorates in accordance with the relative population of each area.

“The Kurdistan Region’s share is 12.67 percent in the draft 2021 Federal Budget Law, but [the legislation] has another section that says the budget of the governorates and the regions will be determined according to population.” he said.

“Today’s KRG delegation is technical and will not have any impact on the decisions,” said Kochar, a member of the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU).

He added that a previous KRG delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani “left no impact” on the budget process.

A KRG delegation headed by the KRG Finance and Economy Minister Awat Janab is supposed to arrive in Baghdad on Sunday.

Ahead of its arrival, lawmaker Rizan Sheikh Delir told the state-owned Iraqi News Agency (INA) that the delegation will discuss the Region’s budget share, which it will receive in return for submitting 250,000 barrels of oil per day for export, along with a portion the income collected at the Region’s international border crossings.

(NRT Digital Media)