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Federal budget law not being implemented, says MP

2021-05-13

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SULAIMANI — Member of the Council of Representatives’ Finance Committee Ahmed al-Haj said on Wednesday (May 12) the reason for delays in paying public sector salaries on time and in full in the Kurdistan Region is because parts of the 2021 Federal Budget Law cannot be implemented.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is supposed to receive 9.5 trillion Iraqi dinars ($6.5 billion), which will be disbursed in monthly increments, in return for submitting 250,000 barrels of crude oil per day to Iraq's oil marketer SOMO for export. The federal government will be able to cut off funds in the event of non-compliance.

Al-Haj told state-run Iraqi News Agency (INA) that certain provisions are only designed to provide legal cover for the Region to sell oil.

“The defect exists on both sides, Baghdad and Erbil,” he said.

He said that the Region’s oil sales are supposed to be evaluated and deducted from its budget share and the rest sent by Baghdad, but that this has not happened yet.

The Kurdistan Justice Group (KJG) lawmaker added that the KRG has not sent 50 percent of its non-oil income to Baghdad, as required.

Al-Haj also identified continued disagreements between Erbil and Baghdad over the number of public servants in the Kurdistan Region, with the former claiming more than one million people on the payroll and the latter putting the number at 682,000.

“The best solution is everyone's commitment to the budget law and its implementation.”

(NRT Digital Media)