KRG finance and economy runs first currency exchange: source

Government brings in $500,000 as a result
(KRG) Finance and Economy Ministry building in Erbil, Kurdistan Region(File)

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SULAIMANI — After announcing plans to do so earlier this month, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Finance and Economy Ministry ran a currency exchange on Wednesday (September 23) in Erbil city.

A source told NRT Digital Media that $35 million ($41.9 billion Iraqi dinars) was exchanged.

“The [finance and economy ministry] received 122,800 Iraqi dinars for each $100,” the source said who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, noting that the public treasury took in 600 million Iraqi dinars ($501,000) as a result.

“From now on, if any money that is the government’s property and enters the Region, including oil money, it will be exchanged like that,” the source added.

On September 19, the ministry said it would exert greater control over the exchange of US dollars and Iraqi dinars in the Kurdistan Region, taking over responsibility for currency auctions from the Central Bank of Iraq.

The move comes as part of an effort by the KRG to capture more internally-generated wealth through stricter enforcement of taxation and fee collection.

The government is facing a severe budget shortfall and is unable to pay its full public sector wage bill amid low oil prices and budget dispute with Baghdad.

(NRT Digital Media)