A member of the parliamentary finance committee, Moeen Al-Kadhimi, confirmed that it is expected that parliament will vote on 67 paragraphs of the budget this weekend.
Al-Kazimi said on Wednesday, in a press interview followed by the insider, that: “There were several meetings between the Shiite framework and the Democratic Party on the amendments to paragraphs 13 and 14 in the budget,” noting that “the amendments to paragraphs 13 and 14 of the budget are considered by the region as interference on Kurdistan.”
He added that “it is hoped that Parliament voted on 67 paragraphs of the budget this weekend,” explaining that “the National Union and other Kurdish blocs supported the amendments made to the budget law and the Democratic Party must accept the decisions of the Federal Court and the Paris International Court.”
Shafaq News/ The Iraqi parliament is facing significant delays in approving the 2023 budget due to major disagreements, mainly stemming from the opposition of Iraqi Kurdistan to specific provisions. Kurdish officials have deemed these provisions a violation of the agreement reached with the federal government.
Jamal Cougar, a member of the Iraqi Parliament representing the Finance Committee, held the federal government accountable for the budget law’s slow progress. Cougar called for the urgent passage of the law under the political agreement between Erbil and Baghdad.
Cougar told Shafaq News agency, “The delay in approving the draft budget law is due to the federal government reneging on its agreements with the regional government regarding the Kurdish-related sections within the budget law. This is compounded by their silence thus far regarding the amendments made to the Region’s sections within the budget and their lack of control over them.”
He further emphasized that “the budget law can only be enacted after a new agreement is reached between Baghdad and Erbil regarding the Region’s share within the budget.”
Cougar added, “We support passing the budget with the agreement of all political parties.”
Economist Nabil Al-Marsoumi revealed yesterday, Tuesday, that a coordination framework consisting of the ruling Shiite political factions has submitted a new proposal regarding sections 13 and 14 of the Kurdistan Region’s share in the federal budget.
The proposal stipulates that the Kurdistan Region deliver 400,000 barrels of oil daily to the National Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) and coordinate with it to sell crude oil. In addition, if the oil from Kurdistan Region is not exported through Turkish ports, Erbil would deliver it to the Iraqi oil ministry, which would explore alternatives for selling oil from Kurdistan or using it internally.
Sources told Al-Marsoumi that, according to the proposal, the federal government must pay Erbil for 400,000 barrels of oil from oil sales if received from the Region. The funds generated from oil sales would be deposited and reinvested internally in an account belonging to the Federal Ministry of Finance.
The Iraqi Cabinet approved the country’s largest financial budget on March 13, amounting to 197 trillion and 828 billion Iraqi dinars (approximately $152.2 billion), with a deficit of 63 trillion. The budget heavily relies on the global rise in oil prices, which account for over 95% of Iraq’s financial revenue. However, objections from financial and legal experts have impeded the final approval of the budget amendments as disputes persist.
President of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, expressed “deep concern” regarding changes that affected provisions related to the Region’s constitutional rights in the Iraqi general budget law, firmly rejecting these alterations. Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani also voiced dissatisfaction, noting that the amendments violated a prior agreement with Prime Minister Mohammed S. Al-Sudani and his government. Prime Minister Barzani emphasized the importance of respecting the cooperative foundation between Erbil and Baghdad and called on all parties involved to honor the agreement.
The parliamentary finance committee revealed, on Tuesday, the controversial clauses with the Kurdistan Democratic Party on the budget, while noting the possibility of resorting to a majority vote in the absence of a political agreement. Committee member Moeen Al-Kazimi said in a television interview: “The Kurdistan Democratic Party called on the coalition of State Administration to wait on the budget, which led to the delay in holding the parliament session to vote on the budget,” noting that “a meeting was held between the coordination framework and the Democratic Party and it was agreed on the context of exporting oil from the region.” He continued, “There is no dispute over the region’s share of the budget of 12.67 percent, but the difference was in the visions regarding the mechanism of exporting oil,” explaining, “the conviction in the coordination framework is that the region is committed to producing at least 400 thousand barrels of oil and Sumo is tasked with exporting, selling and depositing oil revenues and oil derivatives in an account with the Central Bank, and the Prime Minister of the region is authorized to disburse from this account according to the budget decisions, with the effort made by the Ministry of Oil and the region to resume export to Ceyhan Port and in the event that 400 thousand barrels of export, it is not possible, it turns to the internal consumption of the federal government and compensated from the south.” He stated, “The region’s share of the budget is 19 and a half trillion dinars, to which a share of medicines, a supply card and other materials are added to reach about 20 trillion dinars,” pointing out that “this solution is the safest and the Kurdistan Democratic Party approved it, but the objection to two points, which is the failure to mention Sumo in the budget law despite the party’s approval to do so, and that oil revenues are deposited in accounts belonging to the Kurdistan region without going through the Central Bank.” He pointed out that “the Finance Committee added a number of paragraphs in Article 14 of the budget rejected by the Democratic Party, which relate to demands from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdish blocs, including compensating the employees of the region for the compulsory savings that lasted 8 years on the employees of Kurdistan and sometimes deducted from them 50 percent of the salary, redressing the provinces and preventing the export of oil from the wells of Nineveh and Kirkuk.” He pointed out that “the coalition of state administration will decide the issue of the budget next week,” expecting that “if the political agreement does not occur, a majority vote will be resorted to on the budget.” On the shares of the governorates, Al-Kazemi stressed that “the value of the allocations for the development of the regions has been raised from 2.5 trillion to 5 trillion dinars, in addition to two trillion dinars for the petrodollars and the remaining 8 trillion dinars from the emergency support law, which has not been disbursed and still exists in the governorates.”
Earth News / The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Ahmed Al-Asadi, signed on Tuesday, an agreement with the World Bank regarding the project to strengthen the social safety network in Iraq. The minister said after signing the agreement with the Director of the Regional Office of the World Bank in Iraq Richard Abdel Nour, according to a statement by the ministry and received by Earth News: “The project includes a grant from the World Bank provided by the Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Fund, which comes in line with the government program to support and strengthen the social protection network of the Ministry of Labor and to give a boost to electronic work.” He explained that “the ministry has taken steps towards automation and this agreement will be an additional step that contributes to the automation of all the programs of the ministry and the Social Protection Authority,” pointing out that “the main beneficiary is the staff of the Ministry of Labor and the employees of the Social Protection Authority, which is reflected on the beneficiaries of the ministry’s services.” He added that “the grant will focus on supporting the cash transfer program system and the social register of the ministry, modernizing the information technology infrastructure in the Social Protection Authority, as well as establishing an information management system to accommodate the basic functions of the cash transfer program in the social protection network.” Al-Asadi indicated that “the cooperation with the World Bank comes under the title of supporting the Iraqi government and supporting the smooth transition of the governance of all departments of the state, thus the success of the government project in developing its ministries and institutions.”
Baghdad – Mawazine News The Retirement Authority and the State Employees Retirement Fund discussed with the International Monetary Fund in Amman the plans of the pension authority in administrative and financial reform.
A statement by the Pension Authority said that “the head of the pension authority Maher Hussein Rashid and the Director General of the Pension Fund Haider Jassim Hamza attended the periodic meeting called by the International Monetary Fund to discuss the progress of the retirement sector in Iraq and listen to the plans of the Pension Authority with regard to administrative and financial reform.”
The statement added that the head of the pension authority reviewed “the vision and mission of the authority and the state employees pension fund, the strategic priorities for the coming years and the most important problems and obstacles that the authority seeks to address.”
IMF representatives, according to the statement, expressed “comcomfaction with the strategic priorities, which represent a well-defined roadmap that can be translated into action programs and at specific time frames to achieve financial sustainability.” It’s over 29/N33
The country’s financial budget will be approved over the next few days, President Abdul Latif Jamal Rashid said on Tuesday.
The media office of the President of the Republic, in a statement received by Al-Mamala Agency, said that “Rashid, received at the Peace Palace in Baghdad, the delegation of members of the Board of Commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission.”
He stressed, “The importance of the role of the Electoral Commission in organizing elections and facilitating their success factors,” noting “the need to succeed in conducting the next electoral process, which concerns the provincial councils.”
He expressed “the readiness of the Presidency of the Republic and the government to secure the necessary support for the success of the Commission for its work,” noting that “the possibility of the adoption of the general budget by the House of Representatives in the next few days would overcome all the difficulties and requirements necessary for the work of the Commission and the conduct of the upcoming elections.”
In his interview with the members of the Board of Commissioners, he pointed out that “all efforts are exerted for fair and problem-less elections, and this is what is reinforced by the safe and stable situation witnessed by various cities, which confirms the need for great care to facilitate the elections of the provincial councils.”
The President of the Republic listened to “a detailed explanation provided by the attendees who expressed the readiness of the Commission to hold the elections on its proposed date in mid-December,” expressing their hope “the speedy completion of the approval of the budget, because of its relationship in providing logistical supplies and facilitating all the requirements of the elections.”
The Central Bank of Iraq boosted its gold reserves by about 2% in a single day, last week, as part of the “gradual plan” to store the precious metal.
The Director General of the Investment Department at the Central Bank, Mazen Sabah, revealed that Iraq bought 2.5 tons of bullion, on Thursday, to raise its reserves to 132.73 tons, pointing out that the strategy aims to obtain more gold in the second half of the year.
“Our current plan is to buy gold in small quantities over many times, not in a large amount at once,” Sabah explained in an interview with Bloomberg.
Iraq resumed its gold purchases in 2022 after a four-year hiatus, as part of a program to diversify its foreign assets of about $100 billion.
Baghdad – Mawazine News The Central Bank of Iraq announced on Tuesday the purchase of nearly 2.3 tons of gold.
The bank said in a statement that “new quantities of gold of nearly 2.3 tons were purchased, which resulted in an increase in its holdings of this metal by 1.79%.”
He added, “The total of what he owns (of gold) is) (132,74) tons, maintaining its sequence ranked (30) in the ranking of gold holdings for the countries of the world.”
The Investment Department of the Central Bank of Iraq explained that “the purchase came with the aim of increasing its holdings of gold in light of the economic and political conditions witnessed by the world.”
Baghdad – Mawazine News , on Monday, the Parliamentary Finance Committee called on the Presidency of the House of Representatives to expedite the determination of the voting session on the budget. The head of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Atwan Al-Atwani, said in a statement, which Mawazine News received a copy of, that “after discussing the draft general budget law in the Parliamentary Finance Committee, and striving to ripen it in a manner that preserves the supreme interests of the country, and guarantees the rights of our dear people alike, We call on the Presidency of the Honorable House of Representatives to expedite the appointment of a voting session on the law during the current week. Al-Atwani added, “Our emphasis on the importance of speeding up the approval of the general budget is in order to initiate development plans, rehabilitate infrastructure, continue economic reform, and focus on priority projects, especially health, housing, basic services, and support for investment and the private sector.” Al-Atwani renewed, “emphasizing that this law carries great and sensitive importance related to the livelihood of the Iraqi people, and the economic, administrative and social implications of its approval.” And he continued: “We appeal to the political forces to overcome their differences and work in a patriotic spirit in order to achieve this merit, in implementation of the covenant that the parliament and the people’s representatives made to themselves in serving the country, and to strive to pass legislation and laws that are in the interest of the citizen.” Ended 29 / h.
Today, Monday, the Ministry of Oil announced that Iraq will preside over the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries at the level of delegates.
The ministry said in a statement that “the Council of Ministers of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries – OAPEC – held its 110th meeting at the level of representatives of oil and energy ministers in the member states of the State of Kuwait, headed by Naseer Aziz Jabbar, representative of the Republic of Iraq in the executive office of the organization, which presides over the current session of the council. “.
She added, “Members of the executive office of the organization discussed a set of topics on the council’s agenda related to the work and activity of the organization, including:
Approval of the organization’s final accounts for the year 2022.
– Developing and restructuring the organization’s work, while developing its activities and reviewing the systems and laws that govern its work, in a way that is compatible with the challenges and emerging developments in the field of energy.
The preparations for the Twelfth Arab Energy Conference, to be held in the State of Qatar on December 11 and 12, 2023, at the kind invitation of Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs, Managing Director and CEO of Qatar Energy.
– OAPEC Award for Scientific Research, which is granted every two years and its field for the year 2022 is “Decarbonization Technologies in the Petroleum Industry and Circular Economy”.
– The report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the General Secretariat represented in the preparation of economic and technical studies, follow-up reports on the global oil situation, environmental affairs and climate change, the progress of work in the data bank, and the activities organized by the General Secretariat and in which it participated and will be organized during the year 2023.
She stated that “a number of relevant ministerial decisions were issued by this meeting regarding some of the topics on its agenda, so that the General Secretariat of the organization would put those decisions into actual implementation.”
And she confirmed that “the council concluded its meeting by expressing its thanks and appreciation to the State of Kuwait for hosting this meeting, and to the General Secretariat of the organization for the good organization and preparation for it.”