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Iraqi News Thursday AM 3-11-21

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Parliament presidency excludes passing the budget law at a session next week

Money  and business  Economy News _ Baghdad  On Thursday, the second deputy speaker, Bashir Al-Haddad, ruled out passing the budget bill for 2021, at next week’s session.  Al-Haddad said in a press interview, that “it is difficult to pass the financial budget in next Monday’s session, because the Federal Court law has not yet been approved.”  Al-Haddad added, “The parliament presidency must set another session for the budget, for the purpose of voting on it.”

Last Monday, Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi directed the inclusion of the budget bill on the agenda of next Monday’s session, based on a request submitted by Representative Yusef al-Kalabi and signed by 150 deputies.    Number of observations 151 Date of addendum 11/03/2021

Iraqi Economists Network: The Parliamentary Finance Committee Has Exceeded Its Powers To Amend The Draft Budget For 2021

Money  and business  Economy News – Baghdad The Iraqi Economists Network announced that the Parliamentary Finance Committee exceeded its powers in amending the draft federal budget law for 2021, noting that the amendments of the Parliamentary Finance Committee did not seek to implement any of the reforms proposed in the white paper.

And “Al-Eqtisad News” publishes the text of the press release published by the Iraqi Economists Network:

The rhetoric surrounding the 2021 Federal Budget Bill is worrying. The draft was radically revised by the Parliamentary Finance Committee, which exceeded the powers of the committee. But this review came in a way that did not affect the structural problems in the Iraqi economy, and neglected the reforms required in the short, medium and long terms in particular. There is no indication in this review that the Finance Committee has made radical amendments to the draft budget law that take into account standards and scientific practices in formulating budgets and rational financial management .

In addition, the budget formulation process and the subsequent review and correction lacked an adequate level of transparency, and it exceeded the deadlines and control measures stipulated in Financial Management Law No. 6 of 2019 .

In this context, the network of Iraqi economists expresses its serious concern about the failure to pass the budget law due to sharp differences not only with the Kurdistan region, but also among other political blocs and because of the imminence of the early elections, and it fears that this will be the third year without a general budget. Therefore, we call on all political forces, representatives, academics, citizens and civil society organizations to work for the use of the Federal Budget Law as a tool for reform, and in order to address structural problems and end the imbalance in Iraq’s economic and financial policies .

The statements issued by members of the Finance Committee and some leaked information about the ongoing discussions confirm that Iraq’s 2021 budget is not consistent with the reform plans announced by the government, in particular the White Paper in addition to other policies, strategies and reform plans in the past years. This deviation can lead to disastrous results, and the Iraqi economy remains vulnerable to external shocks as a result of fluctuating oil prices, while the severe problems related to unemployment and the escalation of poverty rates are ignored, especially among the youth .

The debate over the federal budget was dominated by the rentier mentality of political forces, which will ultimately keep the Iraqi economy stuck in front of the same challenges, imbalance and fragility .

It appears that the draft federal budget as amended by the Finance Committee did not seek to implement any of the reforms suggested in the White Paper. In fact, the government draft has adopted certain financial and monetary measures, such as imposing taxes on the salaries of state employees, imposing additional taxes on sales, and reducing the value of the Iraqi dinar, and these all face strong opposition from some parliamentary blocs that threaten not to vote on it, and we fear disrupting a quorum The voting session and imposing political deals .

In addition, the Iraqi Economists Network expresses its concern about the miscalculation by many members of the House of Representatives and the Finance Committee regarding the daily rise in the price of crude oil to about $ 70 and the demand to amend the average annual price approved in the draft government budget by $ 42 per barrel. Means shuffling of leaves. Undoubtedly, the high price of oil will improve the level of oil revenues and reduce the size of the planned deficit in the short term only,

but on the other hand, it will not contribute to reducing dependence on oil exports and diversifying the production base of the national economy. What we fear is the expansion of government employment and the exacerbation of the sagging government administrative apparatus in an attempt to win the satisfaction of the unemployed young protesters .

Oil rents will not guarantee sustainable development and achieve social justice and decent living for all segments of Iraqi society unless the political and economic decision-maker implements numerous packages of structural and institutional reforms that help end the rampant corruption in the state, impose the rule of law, improve the investment climate and revive the private sector.

Rising oil prices should be used to achieve these goals, and the increase in oil revenues should be directed to the Reconstruction and Investment Fund instead of feeding the clientelism and political favoritism networks of the ruling political parties .

The Iraqi Economists Network calls on Iraqi lawmakers, the Council of Ministers and political leaders to employ the federal budget and increase oil prices as an opportunity in order to address structural economic problems and not to be involved in short-term policies in order to obtain electoral gains .

The network of Iraqi economists also stresses that decision-makers should rationalize operational spending in favor of investment expenditures and raise their share of what is currently planned by 17% in the government draft to 35% as a minimum of total expenditures in order to move the economy and generate new job opportunities for unemployed youth.    Number of observations 153 Date of addendum 11/03/2021

Blinken: We Have Not Given The Green Light To Release Iranian Funds Held In Iraq

Today, Thursday (March 11, 2021), the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, denied the validity of what was said that the US administration had given a green light to countries to release Iranian funds withheld due to US sanctions.

Blinken said during a hearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, that what is said is that the US administration has given a green light to certain countries, such as South Korea or Iraq, to release billions of dollars of Iranian oil money frozen under the US sanctions, is nothing but information. “False”.

Blinken stressed that any green light in this regard “will not be issued until after Iran returns to the nuclear deal.” He said, “If Iran returns to fulfilling its obligations under the nuclear deal, we will do the same.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on Iraq to release billions of dollars that were frozen in Iraqi banks due to US sanctions.

In a call with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi last week, Rouhani said, “Iran has billions of dollars in Iraqi banks, and they have been frozen against the law, and despite repeated promises by Iraqi officials, they have not yet been released,” stressing the need for immediate release. Iranian resources in Iraq. ”

South Korea also has Iranian funds frozen under the sanctions. Last January, Tehran demanded that the South Korean authorities allow it access to its $ 7 billion frozen assets in exchange for the release of the Korean oil tanker, which the Iranian Revolutionary Guard had seized in the Gulf waters.

In 2018, former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the agreement concluded between Iran and the major powers in 2015 aimed at preventing Tehran from possessing an atomic bomb, considering that the text was insufficient, and he reimposed US sanctions on it.

Planning Announces The Formation Of A Committee Concerned With Changing The Currency Rate And Submitting Its Recommendations To The Cabinet

Time: 03/11/2021 17:08:14 Read: 1,937 times   {Economy: Al Furat News} The Ministry of Planning announced, on Thursday, the formation of a committee to study the effects of changing the exchange rate of the dollar against the Iraqi dinar, and present recommendations to the Council of Ministers.

The ministry stated, in a statement that Al Furat News received a copy of, that “the committee formed according to Cabinet Resolution No. 63 of 2021, and which will study the consequences of changing the currency exchange rate, held its first meeting headed by the Technical Undersecretary of the Ministry of Planning Maher Hammad, and the attending The administrator Azhar Hussein Saleh, the head of the Iraqi Contractors Union, Ali Al-Sanafi, and representatives of the ministries of electricity, finance, housing, reconstruction, municipalities, the Central Bank of Iraq and the National Investment Authority.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Planning confirmed, “This committee was formed to study the effects of changing the exchange rate of the dollar against the dinar, and to propose the required solutions, as far as the matter is related to investment projects.” Ministers to decide. ”

According to the statement, “the representatives of the parties participating in the meeting gave a presentation of investment projects, methods of contracting with the implementing companies, and the mechanisms of payment of the dues of these companies, whether those dues were unpaid debts or unspent advances.”

As he stressed, “the committee will continue its meetings during the coming days, to develop the solutions and proposals required, to address the effects of changing the exchange rate on investment projects.” LINK

The Ministry Of Planning Is Discussing With Government Agencies And The Private Sector The Implications Of Changing The Currency Exchange Rate On Investment Projects

Thursday 11, March 2021 17:39 | Economical Views: 163

Baghdad / NINA / The committee formed according to Cabinet Resolution No. 63 of 2021, which will study the consequences of changing the currency exchange rate, held its first meeting at the Ministry of Planning.

A statement by the Ministry of Planning said today that the meeting was chaired by the technical representative of the ministry, Maher Hammad, in the presence of the Administrative Undersecretary Azhar Hussein Saleh, the President of the Iraqi Contractors Union, Ali Al-Sanafi, and representatives of the Ministries of Electricity, Finance, Housing, Reconstruction and Municipalities, the Central Bank of Iraq and the National Investment Authority.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Planning confirmed that this committee was formed to study the effects of changing the exchange rate of the dollar against the dinar, and to propose the required solutions, as far as the matter relates to investment projects, indicating that the committee’s work period will be one month, and after that it submits its recommendations to the Council of Ministers for decision. ”

The representatives of the parties participating in the meeting, according to the statement, presented a presentation of investment projects, methods of contracting with the implementing companies, and the mechanisms of payment of the dues of these companies, whether those dues were unpaid debts or unspent advances.

”The statement indicated that the committee will continue its meetings during the coming days, To develop the required solutions and proposals, to address the effects of changing the exchange rate on investment projects

The Cabinet Secretariat Sends Lending Mechanisms To The Central Bank Of Iraq Initiative

5 hour ago Iraq   Today, Thursday (March 11, 2021), the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers sent to the Central Bank of Iraq a mechanism for granting loans to projects without interest or reduced interest by making use of the amounts allocated to finance these projects, and supervising them with the aim of activating the private sector and facilitating its procedures.

The General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers said in a statement, “The mechanisms stipulated that the Central Bank present a vision about the success of the salary settlement project and overcoming the challenges it faces in coordination with the competent banks, submitting it to the committee responsible for setting up mechanisms, and studying the application reported in the letter of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs regarding the request for privatization.

An amount within the initiative of the Central Bank of Iraq to the Ministry’s Labor Fund in order to grant loans to the unemployed registered in the database, as well as to support the owners of creative and innovative projects, from technical and legal aspects in coordination with the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training Department, and to present the results of the study within two weeks.

The statement added that “the mechanisms also included a study of the proposal of the advisory body and the notes of the competent banks on the adoption of private banks on par with government banks in the procedures for lending and to submit the necessary proposals regarding it.”

The Anti-Corruption Committee Intends To Investigate The Contract Of Rafidain Bank With The Electronic Payment Company

Pratha News Agency52 2021-03-11  An informed source said today, Thursday, that the Anti-Corruption Committee intends to open an investigation into the file of the Director General of Al-Rafidain Bank with an electronic payment company.

The source stated, “The committee will open an extensive investigation to find out the merits of the contract concluded between Al-Rafidain Bank and a private company for electronic payment,” indicating that “the investigation is due to the contract’s violation of legal conditions and its containment of suspicion of corruption.”

This was a source in the Ministry of Finance, has confirmed that the ministry is in the process of canceling the contract that the Director of the Rafidain Bank signed an agency with one of the electronic payment companies because it contains items harmful to public money.

Learn About Iraq’s Rank In The Arab World And In The World In Gold Reserves

14:55 – 11/03/2021  Information / follow-up.  Central banks maintain a basket of assets against which their local currencies are issued, and these assets vary between reserves of foreign exchange, gold and some other paper assets.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has maintained the Arab lead in terms of the size of gold reserves, according to the report of the World Gold Reserve Council for the month of March, which was issued by the United States of America globally.

While Lebanon came in second place in the Arab world, only two places behind Saudi Arabia in the world ranking, with reserves amounting to 286.8 tons of gold, but it represents about 40% of its reserves of assets, followed by Algeria with 173.6 tons of gold representing 18% of the reserve, while Libya retained In third place, reserves of 116.6 tons, and 33rd in the world. Gold also represented about 8.3% of the total reserves of the Libyan Central Bank of foreign assets.

With less than 100 tons of gold, the rest of the Arab countries came, as Iraq ranked fifth in the Arab world and 38 in the world, with reserves of 96.4 tons, while Egypt came in sixth place with reserves of 80.2 tons, which represented 10%, and 12.4% of the foreign assets reserves of the two countries. Straight.

While Kuwait ranked seventh in the Arab ranking with reserves of 79 tons, and despite the fame of the UAE gold markets, the Central Bank’s reserves of the yellow metal came in eighth place in the Arab world at 57.6 tons, which represented only 3.2% of foreign reserves, and then Qatar with 56.7 tons. Then Jordan with 43.5 tons, devouring Syria, Morocco, Tunisia, Bahrain, and finally Yemen with reserves of 1.6 tons of gold, ranked 100 in the world.

Despite its relentless pursuit in the seventies of the last century, to abolish the gold standard, the United States maintained the largest global gold reserves amounted to 8,133.5 tons, representing 78.6% of the US Federal Reserve of foreign assets.

The report showed that the total reserves of central banks in the world of gold stabilized at the level of 35244.5 tons, while the reserves of Arab central banks reached 1374.5 tons, ranking them eighth in the world, just behind China. Ended / 25


Time: 03/11/2021 18:22:36 Read: 416 times   {Policy: Al Furat News} Today, Thursday, Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein presented a hypothetical briefing via video conferencing to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in which it focused on cooperation between NATO and Iraq and the NATO training mission in Iraq.

According to the ministerial statement, “Al Furat News” received a copy of it, “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg focused on discussions of the long-standing military political dialogue between NATO and Iraqi officials, including his regular contacts with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi and Minister Fuad Hussein.” .

Stoltenberg emphasized, “The presence of NATO forces in Iraq is at the request of the government of Iraq in order to strengthen its institutions and security forces in order to be able to achieve stability in Iraq, fight terrorism and prevent the return of ISIS.

The NATO mission in Iraq will continue to implement its activities in the field of advice, training and capacity building,” And within the framework of full respect for the sovereignty of Iraq and territorial integrity and with the full approval of the Iraqi government and close coordination with other international actors, including the international coalition, the European Union and the United Nations. ”

Stoltenberg also congratulated Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein on “the historic visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to Iraq, which demonstrated the continuous and professional development of the Iraqi security forces and institutions.”

The meeting was attended by the ambassadors of NATO member states and the partner countries, namely Australia, Finland and Sweden. {According to the Foreign Ministry statement}   LINK 

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