KRG spokesperson says 2015 salaries are to be paid on time
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.