Federal government commits to 320 billion IQD budget transfer to Kurdistan Region: spokesperson

Loan law not covering Region's civil servants pay
Spokesperson for the Iraqi Government Ahmad Mulla Talal speaks during a news conference in Baghdad, Iraq on November 10, 2020. (Photo Credit: Iraqi Government)

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SULAIMANI — Iraqi government Spokesperson Ahmed Mulla Talal said on Sunday (November 15) that there is an agreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government that Baghdad will transfer 320 billion Iraqi dinars to the Kurdistan Region after Erbil submits 250,000 barrels of crude oil per day to Baghdad.

In April, Baghdad cut off all budget transfers to Erbil in retaliation for its failure to send the federal government any of the oil it was required to under the 2019 federal budget law, causing a severe disruption in the Region’s finances.

The two sides reached a temporary agreement in early August where Baghdad would send 320 billion Iraqi dinars, in return for bringing customs procedures at the Region’s international border crossings under federal control.

During a televised interview, Talal said that the government requested 41 trillion Iraqi dinars to secure salaries of public servants until next year, but that it does not include the salaries of the Kurdistan Region’s public servants.

On Thursday, the federal legislature approved the Fiscal Deficit Financing bill to fill deficits through borrowing 12 trillion Iraqi dinars (some $10 billion) in internal and external loans.

Talal said that the government currently works with the 2019 Federal Budget Law, as the 2020 budget has not yet been approved. Under the Law, the Kurdistan Region is entitled to 12.67 percent of the budget, should it abide by the terms of the law.

"According to the 2019 budget, one billion dollars should go to Kurdistan,” he said, adding that “The current government deducts the Region’s oil money by 250,000 barrels, along with the revenues of the border crossings and expenditure, while the remaining 320 billion Iraqi dinars are paid as salaries to the Region’s employees, and this is an agreement between the central government and the Region,”

On Sunday, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani said the Region is poised to hand over the whole of its oil to the federal government so that the latter transfers 900 billion Iraqi dinars ($753.87 million) to the Region on a monthly basis.

“It is not possible to accept harm to the Region’s employees due to political differences, and it is also not possible to go to the policy of slogans when elections are near and harm the interests of citizens,” Talal said.

"Soon we will present the 2021 budget, specifically within a week or more, and definitely before the beginning of next month,” he added

 (NRT Digital Media)