KRG to demand four months' worth of budget share from Iraqi Government in formal letter

For May, June, July, October

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Wednesday (November 25) that it has decided to send a formal letter to Iraq’s Council of Ministers and demand the Kurdistan Region’s budget share for May, June, July, and October.

Following a meeting of the KRG Council of Ministers, the KRG said in a statement that the budget shares for those four months is a legitimate right and entitlement of the Kurdistan Region which the federal government has not transferred and that it has nothing to do with the federal Fiscal Deficit Financing law.

The federal legislature approved the Fiscal Deficit Financing bill on November 12 to fill deficits through borrowing 12 trillion Iraqi dinars (some $10 billion) in internal and external loans to finance the salary payments to public servants and other expenditures for the last three months in 2020.

The KRG said that the Kurdistan Region has made every effort and has implemented all of its obligations to reach an agreement with the federal government and continues to negotiate.

The KRG will not give up on its constitutional rights and the financial benefits of the Kurdistan Region’s people, read the statement.

The KRG called on the United Nations to support the establishment of a fundamental agreement between the KRG and the federal government in order to ensure the constitutional rights and entitlements of the people of Kurdistan.

In April, the federal government cut off all budget transfers to the KRG after the latter failed to send any of the 250,000 barrels of oil per day that it is required to under the 2019 federal budget law.

The cut-off caused heavy burden on the cash-strapped KRG to pay its civil servants on time and full over the months. The two sides reached a temporary agreement in early August where Baghdad would send 320 billion Iraqi dinars, in return for bringing customs procedures at the Region’s international border crossings under federal control.

The latest disbursement which began on October 15 was cut by eighteen percent, while salaries paid in July and August were slashed by twenty-one percent.

After a relatively quiet summer with few face-to-face talks, Regional and federal negotiators are expected to meet more often as the budget drafting process picks up speed.

(NRT Digital Media)