KRG spokesper­son says 2015 salaries are to be paid on time

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Safeen Diza­yee, of­fi­cial spokesper­son of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment, says the agree­ment reached be­tween Er­bil and Bagh­dad is valid start­ing from Jan­uary 2015 and the KRG is bound by the terms of the agree­ment.

Diza­yee says ac­cord­ing to the agree­ment as soon as the 2015 bud­get law of Iraq is ap­proved, Bagh­dad shall send Kur­dis­tan’s share of the bud­get.

“Till the bud­get is ap­proved, cen­tral gov­ern­ment shall send one twelfth of the bud­get ev­ery month,” KRG spokesper­son said. “Hence Kur­dis­tan em­ploy­ees’ salary is­sue will be solved and salary dis­burse­ments will be made on time.”

Diza­yee also added that the KRG needs IQD 850 bil­lion per month for salaries, and when­ever they have twice this amount they will pay both un­paid salaries of Novem­ber and De­cem­ber of last year to­gether.

“We have only heard from the me­dia that KRG is pay­ing two salaries to­gether,” Diza­yee com- mented. “We need IQD 1.7 tril­lion to pay both salaries of Novem­ber and De­cem­ber 2014. Till now the Iraqi gov­ern­ment has not sent any funds for the pur­pose and the do­mes­tic rev­enues from oil sales are not suf­fi­cient for that.”

Diza­yee told a lo­cal Kur­dish daily news­pa­per that they will start pay­ing Novem­ber salaries in the near fu­ture re­fus­ing to men­tion ex­act days as he said it is the Fi­nance Min­istry who will de­cide that, “but the first min­istry to re­ceive salaries will be the Pesh­marga Min­istry.”

Diza­yee told the news­pa­per that KRG has been ex­port­ing 250 thou­sand bpd of its oil as per the agree­ment with Bagh­dad; how­ever, Kirkuk has not been able to pro­duce its 300,000 bpd for KRG to ex­port as well.

Talk­ing about the fuel prices and the pos­si­bil­ity of re­duc­ing it, the KRG of­fi­cial said this is­sue has not been dis­cussed and that he is not ex­pect­ing this to hap­pen since the gov­ern­ment is al­ready sub­si­diz­ing fuel prices by US$2 bil­lion per year, and even if the fi­nan­cial cri­sis is over, they can­not spend more than this for fuel. This is due to the fact that the Re­gion’s bud­get is US$14 bil­lion, around US$9 bil­lion of which goes to salaries, this is in ad­di­tion to other op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­tures and in­vest­ments in health, ed­u­ca­tion and other im­por­tant sec- tors.

Na­jiba Na­jib, Kur­dish Mem­ber of the Iraqi Par­lia­ment says the bud­get draft is un­der process at the Par­lia­ment and cur­rently the fi­nance com­mit­tee is re­vis­ing the bud­get to ac­com­mo­date Par­lia­ment Mem­bers’ in­puts, after which it will be sent back to the Par­lia­ment for fi­nal vot­ing and ap­proval.

“The draft is very good and the de­mands of the Kurds are mainly ac­com­mo­dated in it,” MP Na­jib says. “There is some op­po­si­tion by Ma­liki’s bloc mem­bers about the shares of Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, but they are a small num­ber of votes and can­not make sig­nif­i­cant im­pact.”

MP Na­jib said the bud­get law shall be passed by Jan- uary 20th; how­ever, if by Jan­uary 15th they re­al­ized that the ap­proval would take longer, the Iraqi gov­ern­ment shall dis­burse salaries of Jan­uary to all gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing em­ploy­ees of Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, which means the salary prob­lem in Kur­dis­tan will come to an end.

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