KRG to build housing projects with budget of $332m, claims PM Barzani

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani speaks during opening ceremony of Rovia-Gopal road on October 20, 2020 (Photo Credit: Media Office of KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani

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SULAIMANI —Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said on Wednesday (October 21) that his cabinet will build 42 housing and construction projects with a budget allocation of $332 million.

“We want to make housing affordable for first time buyers, and that's why we are investing in affordable housing projects across Kurdistan,” he said in a tweet, which did not provide details about the construction projects, where they will be located, or how they will specifically benefit first-time buyers.

Increasingly Barzani and his Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) have turned to populist infrastructure announcements in an effort to stem the tide of negative popular opinion, announcing more than $2 billion in allocations during August and September.

Meanwhile, the KRG has struggled to pay public servants, only disbursing salaries six times this year, three of which were cut by around twenty percent. Barzani has said on multiple occasions that the government has significant debts and obligations worth around $28 billion and no savings or reserves.

It was not clear from Barzani’s tweet where the $332 million would be sourced.

The Kurdistan Parliament has not passed a budget since 2013, rendering the allocation process opaque.

(NRT Digital Media)