Bagh­dad sends money to Er­bil

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Deputy Iraqi Fi­nance Min­is­ter Fazil Nabi says Bagh­dad owes a lot of money to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, but it is not clear when it is go­ing to pay it back.

Nabi, who did not clearly know how much money Bagh­dad owes Er­bil, said that the only pay­ments made to Er­bil in 2014 were Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary salaries, ap­prox­i­mat­ing to IQD 1.1 tril­lion, i.e. USD 1 bil­lion, in ad­di­tion to the USD 500 mil­lion that was sent re­cently.

He said to cal­cu­late the to­tal amounts due to Kur­dis­tan, a mu­tual com­mit­tee from both gov­ern­ments should meet and dis­cuss the is­sue.

Re­gard­ing the 2015 bud­get draft, Nabi said that last week a min­is­te­rial com­mit­tee, headed by Iraqi Fi­nance Min­is­ter Hosh­yar Ze­bari, in­clud­ing a num­ber of other min­is­ters met to de­cide to cut the bud­get.

“The com­mit­tee has met with about 10 min­istries to date and they will meet the oth­ers in the near fu­ture,” Nabi said in an in­ter­view with a lo­cal Kur­dish daily news­pa­per. "We are try­ing to sub­mit the draft to the Min­is­te­rial Coun­cil in the com­ing days for ap­proval and fi­nal sub­mis­sion to the Par­lia­ment.”

Talk­ing about the re­pay­ment time and ar­range­ments of the debts, Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter said,"since Bagh­dad is al­ready go­ing through a fi­nan­cial cri­sis it is not easy to pay back all this debt to­gether and it is not clear how and when it will be paid back." How­eve, he said start­ing from 2015 Iraq will pay the Re­gion's bud­get share on time to pay for the salaries and all other gov­ern­ment ex­pen­di­tures. So, Nabi re­it­er­ated that 2015 salaries will be paid on time to the Kur­dish em­ploy­ees.

Nabi de­nied the news that Bagh­dad will ap­point new em­ploy­ees for KRG out of the 108 thou­sand new po­si­tions for the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment. He said, "KRG will re­ceive its 17% of the bud­get and will have to plan its re­cruit­ment ac­cord­ing to its needs and to pay for that from its own bud­get."

Re­ports said re­cently that salaries of all gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees of Iraq and Kur­dis­tan will be raised from Jan­uary 1, 2015. Nabi said there is no such a thing, and due to the fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion that the coun­try is go­ing through now, it is very dif­fi­cult to pay any in­crease.

He claimed that Iraq needs one or two more years to re­cover from the fi­nan­cial cri­sis it is cur­rently fac­ing.

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