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Iraqi News Thursday AM 4-8-21

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Allawi chairs the meeting of the Budget Committee

Minister of Finance Ali Abdul Amir Allawi   Money  and business   Economy News – Baghdad   The Minister of Finance, Ali Abdul Amir Allawi, confirmed, on Thursday, that the long-term goals will be easily linked with future budgets to provide tools and procedures for preparing financial departments and determine priorities for activities to achieve the strategic goals of projects in proportion to the financial revenues of the country.

The ministry stated in a statement, seen by Al-Iqtisad News, that “Minister Ali Abdul-Amir Allawi chaired yesterday, Wednesday, the fifth session of the committee for preparing the federal budget strategy for the medium term 2022-2024 in the presence of the prime minister’s advisors, the advisor of the Minister of Finance and the Undersecretary of the Ministry. Planning and directors general of the ministry and other ministries. ”

The committee discussed, according to the statement, “a brief report that included completed and unfinished investment projects, in addition to projects that are lagging in most governorates. The committee also discussed the contractor dues and methods of scheduling them.”

The minister said that “the committee’s actions and steps will contribute to building a sound and stable financial situation for the country, which will enhance the approach of preparing budgets for the coming years within the available financial resources to address the lag in strategic projects in the governorates.”

The minister affirmed that “long-term goals will be easily linked with future budgets to provide tools and procedures for preparing financial administrations and to prioritize activities to achieve strategic objectives of projects in proportion to the country’s financial revenues.”

The committee also completed, according to what was stated in the statement, “the meeting’s agenda, which included several paragraphs of it with regard to financial and economic matters related to other ministries.”

Number of observations 360 Date added 04/08/2021

https://economy-news.net/content.php?id=24772

Minister Of Finance: We Will Proceed With Linking Long-Term Goals With Future Budgets

Thursday 08, April 2021 10:16 | Economical Views: 294   Baghdad / NINA / The Minister of Finance, Ali Abdul Amir Allawi, affirmed that the long-term goals will be linked with future budgets to provide tools and procedures for preparing the financial departments and determine the priorities of activities to achieve the strategic goals of the projects in proportion to the financial revenues of the country.

The Ministry of Finance said in a statement that the Iraqi National News Agency / NINA / received a copy of it: “The minister chaired the fifth session of the committee for preparing the federal budget strategy for the medium term 2022-2024 in the presence of the advisors of the prime minister, the advisor of the Minister of Finance, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Planning and the general directors in the ministry and ministries. The other. ”

The committee discussed a brief report that included completed and unfinished investment projects, in addition to the lagging projects in most of the governorates. The committee also discussed the contractors’ dues and methods of scheduling them.

The minister said: “The committee’s actions and steps will contribute to building a sound and stable financial situation for the country, and will enhance the approach of preparing budgets for the coming years within the available financial resources to address the lag in strategic projects in the governorates.”

He added, “It will proceed to link long-term goals easily with future budgets to provide tools and procedures for preparation of financial departments and to identify priorities for activities to achieve the strategic objectives of projects in proportion to the financial revenues of the country.”

The committee also completed the meeting’s agenda, which included several paragraphs, including those related to financial and economic matters related to other ministries. / End 7

https://ninanews.com/Website/News/Details?key=897849

A New Rise In Dollar Prices

Time: 04/08/2021 10:11:02 Read: 5,980 times    {Baghdad: Al Furat News} The exchange rates of the dollar rose today, Thursday, on the main stock exchange in the capital, Baghdad.

Al-Kifah Central Stock Exchange in Baghdad registered 147,200 Iraqi dinars against 100 US dollars, and Al-Harithiya Stock Exchange recorded 147,250 Iraqi dinars per 100 dollars.

While Al-Kifah Central Stock Exchange registered 147,100 Iraqi dinars during its opening on Wednesday morning.

It is noteworthy that the buying and selling prices rose in the exchange shops in the local markets in Baghdad, where the selling price reached 147,750 Iraqi dinars, while the purchase prices reached 146,500 dinars per 100 US dollars.   LINK

Al-Saffar: Budgets After 2003 Amounted To 1500 Billion, Which Are Sufficient To Build Two States The Size Of Iraq In The Desert

Time: 04/08/2021 12:11:15 Read: 3,055 times  {Baghdad: Al Furat News} The reporter of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Ahmed Al-Saffar, stated that the country’s budgets since 2003 and so far have reached 1500 billion, which are sufficient to build two states the size of Iraq in an uninhabitable desert, criticizing the size of corruption in the country and stressing that it needs a bold treatment, will, decision-making and punishment. .

Al-Saffar said in a televised interview that “the Iraqi citizen has come to know the extent of corruption, since 2003 until now there have been 1500 billion in budgets, and thus two countries the size of Iraq can be built in an uninhabitable desert,” noting that “Iraq is always at the bottom of the corruption classification list in the world.” .

Al-Saffar believed that “the biggest problem in Iraq is corruption, and every attempt to rebuild the infrastructure and economic sectors collide with corruption,” stressing that “corruption can only be eliminated through a strong government, especially since corruption has become a system that needs to be addressed and boldly will, and to take a decision and punish The corrupt, “adding that” if the corrupt are the bosses and have power and influence within government institutions, the process is not without difficulty and needs a period of time to eliminate it. ”

Corruption, which has cost Iraq twice as much as its gross domestic product, i.e. more than $ 450 billion, is the most prominent concern of Iraqis who suffer from a lack of services, the provision of drinking water, electricity, hospitals and schools.

Regarding criticism of the increase in the exchange rate of the US dollar against the Iraqi dinar, Al-Saffar stated that “the validity of the monetary policy in general is exclusive to the Central Bank, and the policy of determining the exchange rate with the determination of the interest rate, the monetary mass and the legal reserve are all tools that fall within the monetary policy of the country, and it is not permissible.” Under any circumstances interfere with the independent operation of the Central Bank.

He continued, “In some countries, there is coordination between fiscal policy and monetary policy through coordination and interaction between the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank to achieve specific goals represented in development and economic stability to support sectors and others.”

The decision of the Finance Committee stated that “the policy of devaluation of the national currency is sound, which is to encourage development and various economic sectors and achieve some kind of economic progress, but it needs two necessary things. The first is the need for the state to have a strong and effective production system that responds to any change that occurs in the overall demand for consumption.”

The second relates to the investment environment, because the devaluation process has a number of effects, including the rise in the price of the foreign currency, and consequently the increase in the price of imported goods, and here the total demand is heading towards local products, “according to Saffar.

The reporter of the Parliamentary Finance Committee added that, “If the productive apparatus is strong, it responds to the increase in consumer demand as a result of the change in the currency exchange rate, and it results in activating, encouraging and stimulating internal economic activity, but if the opposite is what happened in Iraq, which is that the country does not have a strong production apparatus.” And it depends for most of its needs on the external market and the inability of local production to meet the high demand, which will lead to inflation, and this is what happened with high prices.

Al-Saffar explained that “the change in the exchange rate was only 23%, but what happened in the market is a rise in some commodities by 300%, such as medicines, spare tools and others, and there are some commodities that rose by about 100% and others by about 40% or 50%,” adding that “the bank The Central Council consulted all parties with a decision to reduce the value of the Iraqi dinar against the dollar, but in Iraq there is clear interference by political blocs and influential parties in the work of the government and institutions in general, and even Parliament is a reflection of the orientations and visions of these political blocs.

And he continued: “There was a meeting with the Parliamentary Finance Committee, but it happened after Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi’s meeting with the heads of political blocs, and he explained to them the existing financial situation and that the state is unable to pay salaries and wages and that the current price does not achieve sufficient revenues for the operational budget only, and for this reason there is no “A solution is not to either deduct salaries at rates of about 50% or change the exchange rate of the dinar against the dollar, and this is an indirect deduction.”

On December 20, Iraq decided to reduce the value of the dinar against the dollar to 1450 instead of 1184, to contain the financial crisis, but the decision caused stagnation in the economic movement and an increase in commodity prices in the local markets.

He pointed out that “there is agreement from the political blocs about raising the currency exchange rate, and the Finance Committee was notified, but the latter did not unanimously agree, and I was one of those who objected to this large degree of devaluation of the dinar, and I was with the change but with the adoption of a creeping or gradual rate,”

For example, the change takes place this year to 1,300 dinars, and next year another change is made, and so on, and according to my opinion, the price change from 1190 dinars to the dollar to 1450 is big, because the Iraqi market does not bear this rise and big change. ”

On passing the budget, he noted that “the Parliamentary Finance Committee has made a great effort in this budget, because it is one of the most difficult budgets in the history of Iraq. The draft budget for election campaigning, and for this they agreed to change the exchange rate, but they went back and declared that they are against this decision even though they know that this issue is within the jurisdiction of the Central Bank.

The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday (March 31, 2021), on the Federal Budget Law for the Republic of Iraq for the year 2021 as a whole, after months of heated debate over the law between political parties.

Al-Saffar added, “The Finance Committee received the draft budget on December 28, 2020, which is a late date, because according to the law, the project must be with the Finance Committee before October 15, so that sufficient time is allowed for it and the budget is approved before January 1,” adding:

“The first reading of the draft budget was on January 9, and the presence of the Finance Committee in Parliament hinders its work due to reviews and the attendance of MPs for discussions, and thus a waste of time.”

Al-Saffar went on to say, “The Financial Committee held about 47 morning and evening meetings, during which we hosted more than 350 spending unit officials, and we changed the project from a project as a rigid financial paper that is merely items for distribution at the gates of spending, to a project with an economic and social vision that could serve the economic sectors and move The wheel of the country’s economy, in order to be able to get out of this rentier state, which if it continues like this, then this means that the economy of Iraq is moving towards the unknown. ”

He noted that “the operating budget was more than 90% and we reduced it to 80%. We also reduced public spending from 164 trillion dinars to 129 trillion dinars, while the deficit was 71 trillion dinars and we reduced it to 28 trillion dinars, and revenues were 93 trillion dinars and we raised it to 101.” One trillion dinars. ”

Regarding the impact of raising the exchange rate on the Iraqi citizen, Al-Saffar stated that “the government was supposed to take measures preceding the change of the exchange rate, and it should have expected a rise in the prices of imported goods, and thus the demand for the local product that must satisfy the local need,” adding: “We have put in place an article.

“The government is obligated to take a package of measures that alleviate inflation and the negative impact of raising the exchange rate, including raising the sums of families benefiting from the salaries of social workers, and we have directed the Ministry of Trade to provide the ration card items, whose quantities may double in the month of Ramadan.”

As for the citizens’ dissatisfaction with the delay in distributing the ration card items and the poor quality of them, Al-Saffar said: “I am not with the distribution of the ration card as materials, because of corruption, the lack of delivery of the ration card at its specified time, the incomplete number of items, and the poor quality of which some of them are not suitable for human consumption.”

He explained: “I am in favor of paying a cash sum with the card to the beneficiaries and to those who are at the level of poverty, because he will be free to choose and know his need for the materials and he chooses the quality and quantity he needs.”

Al-Saffar saw that this proposal “contributes to revitalizing the market and economic movement, especially since there are about 8 million Iraqis below the poverty line.” Usually, the ration card is “an insult to the Iraqi individual, and more than 60% of the ministry’s effort goes to the ration card.”

And on the adoption of the price of selling a barrel of oil in the federal budget for the year 2021, Al-Saffar indicated that “the budget that was sent by the government was based on a price of 42 dollars a barrel, at a time when the price of a barrel was 52 dollars, and it is correct to adopt a conservative price, but not with that big difference.” Adding: “I was with the adoption of 50 dollars a barrel, especially since the price of a barrel of oil now is about 63 dollars, and this indicates a big difference.”

The decision of the Parliamentary Finance Committee explained that “every additional dollar in the price of a barrel brings about a trillion and a half trillion Iraqi dinars to the budget, and if the price of a barrel of oil reaches about $ 65- $ 70, then the deficit will be fully covered, and the budget will be balanced, and the remainder of the funds can be used.” As a revolving balance for the repayment of internal or external loans. ”

Regarding his vision of the government’s work, he said, “Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi has put in place an excellent program in theory, despite it being a transitional government, even if it has a regular course to set a program according to the usual time period.”

As for the share of the Kurdistan region and the agreement that was made in the budget regarding it, Al-Saffar added that “the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, and through his follow-up and his presence on the line constantly with the Kurdish negotiating delegation and the Finance Committee during the past months, he was in constant presence with what is being done in Baghdad.”

Therefore, he builds his expectations on objective matters through the orientations that exist in the Iraqi arena against achieving stability or development in the economy so that they are not counted against the current government.

He stated that “there are those who go to a central mentality and do not understand the federal federation and the existing decentralization, and for this reason, the article related to the Kurdistan Region in the budget witnessed a very difficult birth, and as a result of marathon visits to the Kurdistan Region delegation and we stayed in Baghdad for more than 3 months, until we were able to come out with this.” The article is the result of political consensus. ”

And he added that “the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, is afraid of the coup of some blocs and their lack of cooperation or preventing the government from implementing its program, because there are those who do not settle for an opinion.”

The Kurdistan region’s share of the budget increased from 12.67% to 13.9%, after many negotiating rounds and repeated visits to the delegation headed by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Vice President, Qubad Talabani.

The value of the budget amounted to 89.7 billion dollars, about 30% lower than the last budget approved in 2019, at a time when Iraq, the second largest oil producer in OPEC, is going through its worst economic crisis.

The total value of revenues in the 2021 budget, approved by Parliament on Wednesday night, was about $ 69.9 billion, calculated based on the export of crude oil at the price of $ 45 a barrel, and the rate of export of three million and 250 thousand barrels per day.

The value of the deficit in the current budget amounted to 19.8 billion dollars, compared to 23.1 billion in 2019, noting that Iraq did not approve the 2020 budget due to political tension.

It is noteworthy that the value of the deficit in the budget bill proposed by the government to Parliament amounted to $ 49 billion, but the deputies filled the difference by canceling debts and dues owed by the state in exchange for energy sources from the account, especially Iranian gas and energy dues, and other payments for infrastructure.

The value of investments in the budget for 2021 amounted to 19.6 billion dollars, compared to 27.8 billion in 2019.

As stated in the budget, 80% of the revenues come from oil, and includes 250 thousand barrels produced by the Kurdistan Region, a condition imposed by the government to pay the salaries of employees.   LINK

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