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KRG delegation rejected federal government’s budget conditions, claims Iraqi MP

2020-06-29

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SULAIMANI — State of Law Coalition lawmaker in the Council of Representatives Alia Nusaif claimed on Monday (June 29) that Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) negotiating delegation has rejected a number of conditions put forward by the federal government, which she said was the reason why Erbil and Baghdad have not reached an agreement over the budget.

“The central government has the right to demand the imposition of its control over all the [Kurdistan] Region’s revenues, including oil, taxes, and others, in exchange for granting the Region an amount of 453 billion Iraqi dinars [$381 million] per month,” Nusaif said in a statement.

“Baghdad has the right to demand the receipt of the all oil which is produced in the Region,” she added.

Last week, a KRG delegation visited Baghdad for more talks designed to overcome disagreements over the budget and oil, but it returned to Erbil after three days without a deal.

“These points will protect the Iraqi people from north to south and will end the suffering of the Kurdish people from the issues of the delays of the distribution of salaries and put a limit to oil smuggling operations,” she argued.

In late April, the federal government ran out of patience with the KRG’s refusal to abide by the terms of the 2019 Federal Budget Law, which mandated that Erbil send 250,000 barrels of crude oil per day to Baghdad for export, and stopped all budget transfers, except for a one-time 400 billion Iraqi dinar infusion to grease negotiations designed to reach a comprehensive agreement.

Also facing a drop off in oil revenue from independent sales, the KRG now faces a severe budget shortfall and the likelihood that it will be unable to pay its thousands of public servants in the medium-term.

The most likely resolution for the crisis is an agreement with Baghdad to resume budget transfers, but so far, the talks have yielded little public progress.

(NRT Digital Media)