Kur­dis­tan em­ploy­ees to get equal al­lowances as Bagh­dad

The Kurdish Globe - - NATIONAL -

Dler Tariq, Me­dia and Pub­lic Re­la­tions Di­rec­tor and the spokesper­son of Min­istry of Fi­nance and Econ­omy of Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Government (KRG) stated in an in­ter­view with the Kur­dish Globe that his min­istry is un­able to spec­ify when the government loan plans will re­sume.

Tariq, more­over, told the Globe that the ba­sic salaries of KRG and Iraqi Government em­ploy­ees are the same and 90% of their al­lowances are uni­fied. This, ac­cord­ing to him, means that any de­ci­sion made in Bagh­dad about salaries and al­lowances of pub­lic em­ploy­ees will sim­i­larly ap­ply to Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.

Q: Both Bagh­dad and Kur­dis­tan 2013 bud­gets have been ap­proved. Why have the hous­ing, mar­riage, agri­cul­ture and in­dus­trial loans not re­sumed till now?

A: Even The Min­istry of Fi­nance does not know when ex­actly the loans will re­sume, but it should be in the coming days. The min­istry should meet with the re­serve, ac­count­ing di­rec­tor and the min­istry’s in­sti­tu­tions to dis­cuss the pro­ce­dures for the loans. Later they will be given a writ­ten or­der to re­sume the loan plans.

Q: Was the de­ci­sion to hold the loans re­lated to the de­lay in ap­prov­ing Iraq’s bud­get?

A: Both in Bagh­dad and the Re­gion the loans de- pend on bud­get ap­proval, to al­low time for the fi­nan­cial set­tle­ment of pre­vi­ous year.

Q: Last year hous­ing al­lowance for the dis­tricts and sub-dis­tricts was IQD 20 mil­lion [ap­prox­i­mately US$ 17,000], while this year it will be IQD 25 mil­lion. Will this IQD 5 mil­lion be re­funded to last year’s ben­e­fi­cia­ries?

A: No, this will stay as it was, ex­cept for those who have been forced to re­lo­cate from their own res­i­dency place, who will get the ex­tra IQD 5 mil­lion.

Q: Has ap­prov­ing Bagh­dad’s bud­get af­ter Re­gion’s bud­get af­fect the liq­uid­ity in the Re­gion’s banks due to short­age of funds from Bagh­dad?

A: Till Bagh­dad bud­get was ap­proved, Re­gion’s share used to be sent on 1/12 in­stall­ments. The is­sues in Kur­dis­tan banks were sim­i­larly faced in Bagh­dad. They also have sent 1/12 of min­istries’ bud­gets. This means that there would be a short­age of funds. Dur­ing the first three months, Kur­dis­tan has re­ceived IQD 600 bil­lion [ap­prox­i­mately US$ 500 mil­lion] less than what it should have re­ceived.

Q: So, when Iraq’s Pres­i­dency ap­proves the bud­get, the sit­u­a­tions will re­turn to nor­mal?

A: Yes, it will be­come nor­mal again and Bagh­dad will send 3 in­stall­ments per month, to be­come a to­tal of 36 in­stall­ments dur­ing the whole years. Bagh­dad never sends all the funds at once, to re­strict liq­uid­ity in the Re­gion.

Q: Are there any un­fin­ished projects from pre­vi­ous years that have been put on hold due to de­lays in bud­get?

A: No, con­tin­u­ous projects have been reg­u­larly funded. New projects, how­ever shall com­mence fol­low­ing bud­get ap­proval.

Q: Are there ef­forts to in­crease Re­gion’s salaries in 2013 and unify with those in Bagh­dad?

A: The pay-scale sys­tem in Bagh­dad and Kurd- is­tan are the same. But the al­lowances still need to be uni­fied. Re­gion’s bud­get ad­dresses this is­sue. Hence we be­lieve that 90% of the al­lowances are now ad­justed to match those of the cen­tral government. If an al­lowance is not paid in KRG while it is in Bagh­dad, we have asked to be paid here as well. How­ever, this should be ap­proved by the Iraqi par­lia­ment and government, rather than a de­ci­sion by an in­di­vid­ual min­is­ter or of­fi­cial in the cen­tral government from his min­istry’s bud­get. Kur­dis­tan Re­gion will fol­low the cen­tral government pay-scale sys­tem.

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