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Iraqi News and Highlights Thursday AM 7-23-20

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Representative Saad Mayeh Al-Halfi Reveals The Most Important Causes Of Corruption In The Outlets And Calls For Their Treatment

7/23/2020  Member of the Security and Defense Committee, MP Saad Maya Al-Hafi revealed on Thursday 23/7/2020 the most important reasons that led to the emergence of corruption cases in the work of border crossings, calling for their treatment by taking a number of organizational measures.

Al-Halfi said in a statement: The Parliamentary Security and Defense Committee hosted the Chairman of the Border Ports Authority, Dr. Omar Al-Waeli, to closely review the challenges facing the work of the authority and to discuss ways to control the ports and end the rampant corruption in them.

Al-Halfi added: The proliferation of illegal crossings and the multiplicity of departments affiliated with the ministries of Finance, Interior, Health, Transportation, Trade, Planning, Tourism and others, which number (14), and those operating in the customs campus, as well as overlapping in authorities and lack of administrative and technical association with the border entry authority are among the most important reasons that contribute to the growing phenomenon Corruption and dispersal of all efforts to eliminate it.

The NATO deputy called for the need to take a decision by the Prime Minister to link the work of government departments to the border entry authority and to introduce modern technology to control the movement of people, materials and goods entering and leaving the country through the ports and tightening control over them and not compromising the accountability of those who waste public money.

Saad Maya stressed the importance of subjecting all land border, sea and air borders to the authority of the central government, including the central, eastern, western, southern and northern borders alike, as well as the closure of illegal crossings, which are considered to be one of the most important gaps affecting the security of the country and its national economy.

Parliament,Information Circle  23/7/22020   LINK

Calls To Activate The Investigation Committee For Oil Contracts

Thursday, July 23, 2020  114 Baghdad / Shaima Rashid  The Parliamentary Energy and Legal Committees called on the Presidency of the House of Representatives to activate the committee that was formed last year regarding oil contracts that contain a large clamor.

Member of the Legal Committee, Hussein Al-Oqabi, called, in an interview with Al-Sabah, to “activate the parliamentary committee that was formed last year related to oil, to follow up its investigations on oil contracts.” In financing the budget. ”

He added, “We are still demanding the formation of a supreme committee along the lines of the Electricity Committee, which has been investigating electricity contracts since 2003 and until now, and it is an important pivotal committee.

Whoever squandered public money and benefited at the expense of the state’s capabilities or at the expense of the citizen, and the citizen continued to suffer from the scourge of spoilers who had wreaked havoc on the land ».

And he continued that «regarding oil – with great regret – a committee was formed last year for this file, but it seems that many circumstances did not allow its work to continue», calling on the Presidency of Parliament to continue the committee that was formed last year with its work, and issuing a representative order to its right,

to follow up Oil contracts concluded by the state during the past years, indicating that “the issue is important and pivotal, which is necessary because it is essential in financing the budget, and we should be aware of oil contracts and the measures that the Ministry of Oil has adopted during the past years.” Al-Aqabi asserted, “These contracts have many murmurs and words,

and we hope to break this confusion through higher committees formed by Parliament, especially since the committee formed by Parliament for oil contracts has their names selected, but no parliamentary order has been issued since last year.”

A member of the Parliamentary Oil and Energy Committee, Ghalib Muhammad, also called for the activation of the Parliamentary Committee on Oil that has been suspended, indicating that they are in the Energy Committee «calling for the formation of a high investigation committee in this regard, as well as an investigation committee on (Qaywan), as well as on the huge sums spent on fuel ».

Muhammad told Al-Sabah: “Part of the issue of electricity is related to oil, and the other part is related to the Ministry of Electricity itself. In both cases there are contracts, one of which is specific to oil, and the Ministry of Oil does not have a plan for contracts with companies to produce natural gas to generate electricity, yes there are contracts with Firms to import fuel for power plants since 2005 and until now, more than $ 62 billion has been spent on them, which is a very large sum, ”calling for the formation of a committee“ to know how to buy, and why with this large amount. ”

He added, “This amount that has been spent since 2014, during which 20 generating stations have been installed, and these stations produce 14 megawatts, and the rest 5 stations have not entered service yet,” explaining that “scientifically, every thousand megawatts need a billion dollars. 62 billion, of which 10 billion will be deleted, i.e. 52 billion will remain, and then should there be 52 thousand MW? ”

He continued that «Iraq needs 25 thousand megawatts in the peak of its consumption, and what was spent is twice the production of Iraq, and it is now assumed that according to the numbers Iraq will export to other regions», expressing his surprise that «Iraq buys fuel from abroad and is the source of fuel, as Iraq is ranked 10 in the reserves of natural gas, and it has hydroelectric and solar power plants, and all of this and there is no electricity.   LINK

Planning: The Abolition Of The Blanket Ban Reduced The Decline In Private Sector Entry

Thursday, July 23, 2020  107 Baghdad / Farah Al-Khaffaf A recent study, launched by the Ministry of Planning in cooperation with several parties, demonstrated that food prices did not rise according to the expected proportions, with the return of economic activities, while confirming that the abolition of the comprehensive ban led to a reduction in the incomes of workers in the private sector.

This comes at a time when an economist explained that the results of the study and what it has proven came thanks to the government’s urgent measures and steps.

The Ministry of Planning launched the study, “Evaluating the Impact of the Corona Pandemic on Poverty and Fragility in Iraq”, which was prepared in cooperation with experts from the World Bank, UNICEF, the Oxford Initiative team for poverty and human development, as well as a consultant from the United Nations Population Fund and specialists from the Ministry of Planning.

Possible scenarios

The study described the potential effects of the Corona virus on the well-being of the Iraqi individual in aspects of income derived from doing work, and from other sources, as well as their effects on family consumption and low oil prices.

She pointed out that after the passage of four months, the inflation index (the consumer price index) showed that food prices did not rise by only 6%, and the abolition of the comprehensive ban in the recent period reduced the possibilities of declining incomes of workers in the private sector; Therefore, the scenario associated with a very slight rise in prices, and the practice of economic activities in the private sector to a high degree is a possible scenario.

Under this scenario, the study draws attention to the possibility of increasing the number of the poor by (2.7) million people, in addition to the expected number before the Corona crisis and the economic performance of 6.9 million, with the retreat of the scenario of the number of poor people by five million at the beginning of the Corona crisis due to the lack of high food prices On the one hand, and the return of economic activities to some extent on the other.

The Ministry of Planning affirmed its keenness to continue studying the various possibilities of the living and economic situation in the country in light of developments in the health, economic and financial realities.

It was noted that more than 50% of the newly poor families (after the crisis) had not previously experienced trauma, or had fully recovered from them. The study identified the characteristics of the new poor, thus highlighting the possibility of supporting these segments with appropriate priorities.

Formulating new policies

In another aspect of the study, she conducted an in-depth analysis of the vulnerabilities of the population towards multidimensional poverty in education, health and living conditions, and it appeared that 15% of the population currently suffers from severe deprivations in these dimensions, and the greatest burden is on this for children, especially in the aspect of Education.

The study identified the weakness of the infrastructures in some governorates, which leaves its negative effects in the difficulty of facing the double challenges of material poverty and the fragility of the manifestations of multidimensional poverty, especially in a number of southern governorates (Muthanna, Maysan, Dhi Qar) and the northern (Nineveh, Kirkuk),

In the light of the results of the study and its analyzes, the last part of it included the formulation of policies commensurate with the need for a rapid response and a strategy to contain poverty and deprivation, and among these policies are financial support to families through social transfers to overcome the shocks of the poorest and most vulnerable segments, and enhance their access to the labor market, and to adopt Policies based on investing in human capital and out of poverty.

This requires expanding the scope of protection by increasing its allocations, coordinating the integration of cash transfer programs from various entities within the framework of the social protection network, and liberating its programs from duplication and confusion.

Occupation protection and project support

The study indicated in another aspect of its proposed policies to limit the adoption of negative coping strategies to confront Corona, as a decline in the financial position of the poor leads to reduced meals or a decrease in its quality, which may weaken their immunity. In this regard, the study indicated the possibility of benefiting from the provision of conditional cash grants from the bank International.

Other proposed policies in the study paid special attention to the economic response and recovery, especially in protecting occupations and supporting small and medium enterprises, and supporting workers in the informal sector in fragile circumstances, which may require support for the unemployed of them through temporary financial support and support and promotion of training programs, as it must Focus efforts to activate the construction of a pension system for workers in the private sector.

The study emphasized the availability of broad capital to the private sector and urged the provision of effective partnership programs between supply and demand destinations, and this requires encouraging a shift towards the digital economy and improving electronic payment programs to ensure the facilitation of financial integration.

She explained that the pursuit of economic and social developments in light of the new circumstances linked to the dual crisis in which the country is experiencing financial hardship as a result of low oil prices, and from the outbreak of the Corona epidemic, requires continuing to compare possible scenarios to reduce the effects of this crisis on the segment of the poor or the population exposed to the risks of falling into Poverty, by providing data and information and conducting quality surveys for this purpose.

Reducing negative effects

In the meantime, the financial affairs specialist, Thamer Al-Azzawi, confirmed to Al-Sabah that what came in the study results was due to the government’s urgent procedures and steps.

Al-Azzawi said: “Countries described as major in their economies have suffered from the Corona crisis and its repercussions, and their unemployment rate has increased. Therefore, what came in this study is realistic, and is considered good, especially since Iraq is one of the countries with a single economy.”

He pointed out that “the sharp drop in oil during the past months, and the imposition of a total health ban due to the outbreak of the Corona virus, had a great impact on the Iraqi economy, but the government’s actions, including maintaining the infusion of funds by paying salaries to employees and retirees, the protection network, and others, led to a reduction Acceptably negative effects. ”

Al-Azzawi praised the government’s steps in diversifying revenues, especially controlling the outlets and collecting taxes and other measures, expressing optimism that the crisis will end at the end of the year or early next year, with the continued rise in oil prices, and the government’s successful implementation of its program in the economic aspect.   LINK

The Central Bank Withdraws The License Of A Brokerage Firm To Buy And Sell Currencies For “Violating The Instructions”

Praatha News Agency114 2020-07-22  The Central Bank of Iraq announced, on Wednesday, the withdrawal of the license of a brokerage firm to buy and sell foreign currencies because of its “violation of instructions”.

The bank said in a statement that “given the violation by the Al-Durr brokerage company to buy and sell foreign currencies, the provisions of the instructions for organizing the work of brokerage and foreign exchange companies, it was decided to withdraw the company license.”

The bank added, “It was also decided to confiscate the letter of guarantee deposited with this bank amounting to 50 million dinars,” calling on the Ministry of Commerce to “cancel the establishment certificate granted to it in addition to removing the company name from the records and providing the Central Bank with a certified liquidation letter.”

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