KRG budget to increase next year
2014 budget to reach IQD 16 trillion
As the budget for federal government of Iraq is estimated to be IQD 157.7 trillion (approximately US$ 131 billion) for the coming year of 2014, the share of the Kurdistan Region in the budget is accordingly estimated to be roughly IQD 16 trillion (approximately US$ 13.3 billion), which is about IQD 750 billion (US$ 625 million).
These figures are still rough estimates since according to Najiba Najib, Kurdish member of the Iraqi Council of Repre- sentatives on the Kurdistani Bloc, argues that due to tensions between Erbil and Baghdad the amount of oil exports from Kurdistan Region has not yet been agreed.
The Ministry of Finance of the Kurdistan Regional Government ( KRG) has already started the preparations for the 2014 budget draft.
Dler Tariq, official spokesperson of the ministry stated that his ministry has already sent requests to KRG ministries for their budgets within 30 days.
Reports say that the draft budget of Iraq is expected to be voted for by the Iraqi Council of Ministers on September 15th, after which it will be submitted to Parliament for review and final approval, which is due before the end of the current year.
Due to the fact that last year, unlike previous years, the ministry was able to prepare the budget before the end of the year; the Region’s Prime Minster Nechirvan Barzani has expressed his grati- tude for the ministry’s efforts and has encouraged them to accelerate the process even further this year, argued Tariq.
The total revenues of the country are estimated to be IQD 143.3 trillion, which indicates that the government will run a deficit of IQD 14.7 billion.
The revenue estimate is based on selling 3.5 million barrels of oil per day at a price of US$ 90 per day and an exchange rate of US$1:IQD1016.
The total budget of 2014 is 10% higher than the 2013 budget of IQD 139 trillion (approximately US$118 billion.)
The Kurdish MP, however, doubts that Iraq would be able to collect such revenue since rarely the country has been able to export 3.5 million barrels of oil per day due to many technical and political factors, including tensions between Bagdad and Erbil.
According to MP Najib, this year more focus will be on increasing investment budget and cutting operations budget, which “will have positive impacts on the development of Iraq.”
“Moreover, the budget of military and security sectors will increase, since after many years of bans against weapon purchase, Iraq is now able to buy arms and strengthen its military and defense systems,” MP Najib said.