Un­em­ploy­ment down to 7% dur­ing sev­enth cab­i­net

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Headed by Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani, the sev­enth cab­i­net of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG) has worked hard for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and the wel­fare of the peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan. Since the inau­gu­ra­tion of the new cab­i­net in April 2012, many of the prom­ises made by the Prime Min­is­ter have been achieved in full, while steps have been taken to­wards the achieve­ment of many oth­ers.

Headed by Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani, the sev­enth cab­i­net of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG) has worked hard for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and the wel­fare of the peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan. Since the inau­gu­ra­tion of the new cab­i­net in April 2012, many of the prom­ises made by the Prime Min­is­ter have been achieved in full, while steps have been taken to­wards the achieve­ment of many oth­ers.

PM Barzani pushed to have the Re­gion’s bud­get law drafted in such a way that it al­lowed his cab­i­net to im­prove the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion of ev­ery­one in Kur­dis­tan.

Among the projects im­ple­mented within the Re­gion’s bud­get was an IQD 40 bil­lion (ap­prox­i­mately US$33 mil­lion) al­lo­ca­tion to pay an al­lowance to Pesh­merga whose salaries were be­low IQD 600,000 (ap­prox­i­mately US$500) per month. The same cab­i­net also re­it­er­ated that the salaries and al­lowances of the Pesh­merga forces should be uni­fied with those of the Iraqi Army, and that the dif­fer­ence from past salaries should be re­funded.

More­over, the gov­ern­ment added an ex­tra IQD 10 bil­lion (US$8 mil­lion) to the bud­get of the Min­istry of Mar­tyrs and An­fal Af­fairs ear­marked for the con­struc­tion of res­i­den­tial units and other ser­vices. This was in ad­di­tion to adding another IQD 20 bil­lion to the bud­get of the Min­istry of Cul­ture and Youth, which mainly funded the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Law 14, 2012, which rec- og­nized Suleimaniya as the Kur­dish Cap­i­tal of Cul­ture.

In an ef­fort to fight un­em­ploy­ment and to help raise peo­ple’s stan­dard of liv­ing, the cab­i­net added IQD 5 bil­lion to the bud­get of the min­istry of La­bor and So­cial Af­fairs in ad­di­tion to em­ploy­ing 15 thou­sand peo­ple in the pub­lic sec­tor dur­ing 2013.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics pro­vided by the KRG Min­istry of Plan­ning, the un­em­ploy­ment rate has fallen from ap­prox­i­mately 14% in 2005 to 7% in 2012.

In ad­di­tion to th­ese ef­forts, the sev­enth cab­i­net also gave out a to­tal of more than IQD 41.2 bil­lion in mi­crofi- nance loans to over 3,800 peo­ple.

The Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Party, the Re­gion’s cur­rent rul­ing party, states that it will con­tinue its ef­forts to boost the econ­omy in the new eighth cab­i­net, if they win the up­com­ing par­lia­men­tary elec­tions on Septem­ber 21.

The plans of the KDP’s List 110 in­clude con­tin­u­ing and fur­ther ex­pand­ing the ini­tia­tives of the sev­enth cab­i­net in re­duc­ing un­em­ploy­ment and es­tab­lish­ing more vo­ca­tional train­ing and ed­u­ca­tional cen­ters to im­prove the ca­pac­ity of job seek­ers and to pre­pare them for the la­bor mar­ket.

List 110 has also vowed that they will try to amend the laws re­lated to la­bor in a way that re­stricts the im­por­ta­tion of for­eign la­bor and sets con­di­tions to al­low the im­port­ing of for­eign la­bor based on qual­i­fi­ca­tions and ex­per­tise.

If the KDP wins the elec­tions, they have promised to use le­gal means to force com­pa­nies to em­ploy more lo­cal la­bor, and to find ways for the gov­ern­ment to sup­port the pri­vate sec­tor in their role of erad­i­cat­ing un­em­ploy­ment. Th­ese would be achieved by amend­ing and ac­ti­vat­ing the leg­is­la­tion re­lat­ing to la­bor, so­cial se­cu­rity and pen­sions.

Two work­ers are sit­ting on their push­carts in­side Er­bil mar­ket wait­ing to be hired for car­ry­ing loads.

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