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KRG moves to exert control over US dollar exchange on local markets

Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Finance and Economy building (File)
2020-09-19

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Finance and Economy on Saturday (September 19) moved to exert greater control over the exchange of US dollars and Iraqi dinars in the Region, saying it would take 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.

The ministry has set up a group of authorized private banks, companies, and traders who can participate in the auctions.

It justified the change by saying it would “prevent a monopoly, [secure] job opportunities for all, and increase public incomes.”

Currency auctions had previously been conducted through the Central Bank of Iraq.

(NRT Digital Media)