Iraqi News Highlights Monday Afternoon 4-24-23
Tlm724 Administrator Bondlady’s Corner
Giving Iraq Stability And Progress
Treat the Causes of Iraq’s Governance and Development “Disease,” Rather Than Focusing on Its Violent “Symptoms”
By Anthony H. Cordesman April 11, 2023
Reducing the Barriers to Private Investment and Private Sector Development and Banking Reform
The conference tacitly recognized how serious these problems are in reforming government over-employment and an unproductive state sector. It focused on reducing the barriers to private investment and competition with the state own enterprises…barriers that create a nightmare of regulation, legal constraints, corrupt extortion, time delays, and bureaucratic procedures.
A World Bank report on the Iraqi economy in 2022 notes that Iraq’s oil production – its largest are of private enterprise — has little impact on employment or job creation,13
The oil sector employs less than one percent of the Iraqi workforce, despite its large share in the economy, while the public sector employs 37.9 percent of the workforce, acting as the main source of job creation in the formal sector.
Years of conflict, political instability and weak governance have disincentivized investments and stunted the growth of the private sector, which remains largely informal, mostly dominated by the poor and vulnerable segments of the workforce.
A United States government report on the investment climate in Iraq notes some positive elements, but adds additional warnings,14
The GOI’s ability to tender projects is fundamentally weak and often lacks incentives preferred by industry.
Across the board, there are institutional capacity issues regarding due diligence, project awards, approvals, implementation, financing, and payment.
There are also many procurement-related scams and reselling in the market.
For tenders solely executed at the provincial level or in the IKR, the tender process may differ and is reportedly easier to navigate in many instances.
The provincial procurement law has made procurement at that level easier.
…Investors in Iraq continue to face extreme challenges resolving issues with GOI entities, including procurement disputes, receiving timely payments, and winning public tenders.
Difficulties with corruption, customs regulations, irregular and high tax liabilities, unclear visa and residency permit procedures, arbitrary application of e-regulations, lack of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, electricity shortages, and lack of access to financing remain common complaints from companies operating in Iraq.
Shifting and unevenly enforced regulations create additional burdens for investors.
The GOI currently operates 192 state-owned enterprises (SOEs), a legacy from decades of statist economic policy.
… A significant barrier in the Iraqi private sector and economy is the banking infrastructure.
The Central Bank of Iraq estimated that 99.8% of Iraq’s $122 billion personal consumption expenditures were made in cash in 2019.
Our recent look into the e-commerce sector indicates that there has been a significant uptake in digital payments since then.
Despite that, Iraq remains a predominantly cash economy.
Focus on improving the user experience when it comes to banking in general and online payments, in particular, is critical to building a digital economy in Iraq.
The user experience for a startup setting a digital payment gateway or a user paying
online still ranks far below that of our regional counterparts.
Prime Minister: There Are No Red Lines On Any Corruption File, And The Dollar Will Reach Its Official Price
Politics 04-18-2023, 23:02 Baghdad – conscious Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani affirmed that there are no red lines on any corruption file, while indicating that the exchange rate of the dollar against the dinar will decrease and reach its official rate.
Al-Sudani said in an interview with a group of Iraqi TV stations, followed by the Iraqi News Agency (INA),
“We raised the slogan of services, because it is a popular demand.
It is one of the demands of the demonstrations, and the citizen’s desire to participate in the elections became linked to services,
when I participated in the elections and won as a representative for My concern in Baghdad was how to provide services to citizens and for this service to be a message to them,” stressing,
“We started to treat services as a priority, through fast services through the experience of service and engineering effort, and by activating lagging projects, and we gave priority to infrastructure and the health and electricity sectors.”
He added, “The tripartite budget means economic stability and a positive message for the private sector, and all international financial institutions advise that the private financial, social and economic situation of Iraq needs a medium-term budget,”
pointing out that maintaining the continuity of the ration card, the growing need for fuel for power stations, and entitlement Unpaid loans have led to deficit and inflation in the budget, and we have many solutions for it,” stressing that
“the government job should not be the only outlet for citizens’ living income, so we tended to activate the private sector.” ‘
And he continued, “We hope that the retirement and social security law will be passed, and the government will contribute to the fund to provide privileges for workers in the private sector, equivalent to their peers in the government sector,” noting that
“the provinces now have 8-9 trillion of allocations in the food security law, and the exchange did not exceed 10 %, and in the budget there are 4.5 trillion between the petro-dollars and the development of the regions, and it is with the projects of the ministries that can cover the needs of the provinces during the remainder of this year.
And he indicated that “all fluctuations in the price of the dollar were the result of the failure to implement the agreement signed between the government and the Central Bank with the US Federal Reserve in the previous stage.
The duration of the agreement was two years, and it ended on November 15, 2022, that is, less than a month after we assumed our duties,” stressing that
“we decided Commitment to the standards of the global banking system, and we started with intensive procedures in the Central Bank, the government and the private sector, and our concern was to maintain food prices.”
And he added, “With the passage of time, the process of complying with banking standards increased, and all merchants began to enter the electronic platform, and we helped them obtain foreign currency at the official rate instead of getting used to illegal trade,” noting that
“the number of merchants using the electronic platform has increased.”
And the parallel price began to decline, approaching the official price of the foreign currency, and it will continue to decline, and I remind you that the Iraqi dinar is strong, and our financial situation is in its best condition.
He added, “We have confidence in our Iraqi currency, and our procedures are moving in the right direction, and in every session of the Council of Ministers there is a decision or procedure towards economic reforms and improving the investment environment,” noting that
“there is cooperation between the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq and the Central Bank, in order to have branches in the region, For the purpose of providing foreign currency to merchants present and working there, as well as to citizens, according to regulations and activities. And he continued,
“We must overcome a situation in which the budget is an opportunity for political blackmail or placing the interests of this or that party, as it is a budget for all Iraqis and the people and institutions await it,” explaining that “recovering corruption funds is not a heresy, but rather a law, and we move in a legal context, and
Iraq has Agreements in this regard, and we are a party to the Global Convention against Corruption, and this is obligatory for all countries of the world that are affiliated with it.
And between, “We have bilateral agreements on the extradition of wanted persons and looted funds, and the Central Bank has broad agreements and powers in this regard,” noting that “work on the method of Committee (29) is unacceptable, and
there are investigations about confessions extracted under duress that are nearing completion, and the results will be announced.”
And he went on to say: “We directed all oversight agencies and ministers not to have any red lines towards any file of corruption, location, position or personality.
We want full professional legal procedures to be brought to justice, and we focused on recovering money.
The best way to reach the corrupt is to track down the money.”
And follow-up on the way it inflated,” noting that “some took cover when he was in charge, and we were able to bring him in by tracking the money and searching for the reasons for its inflation.” He added,
“We respect the agreement that produced the State Administration Coalition, contributed to political stability, and resulted in a political agreement with general principles voted on by the House of Representatives. It represents an incubator for this government,” stressing that
“we do not have differences in the State Administration Coalition as much as they are points of view.” It is related to the budget or the principle of partnership, and partnership outside the scope of the constitution is unacceptable. And he pointed out,
“There is a group of files and deferred accumulations.
If this government is able to complete them, it is something that counts for it and enhances its credibility,” noting that
“it is not true that the prime minister, when he takes an executive decision to install or exempt a certain responsibility, must refer to the components, which is something.” We didn’t agree on it.”
And he stressed that “some partners believe that the partnership means that the prime minister does not take a decision in accordance with his powers except with the advice and participation of the political forces present in the coalition, and
this is incorrect, because there are exclusive powers and preserving them is part of the political reform,” stressing that “compensations and housing must be provided.”
And security is one of the societal problems, and the provision of services for the practice of daily life, for the purpose of returning the displaced, and these matters faced some delay.”
He continued, “Among the files marred by corruption is the compensation file, and there are people who have nothing to do with what the governorates were subjected to, who received compensation, while the deserving people did not receive their rights,” stressing,
“We have prioritized removing the obstacles that prevent the return of the displaced, so that our people can return to their original places of residence.
He explained, “It is in the interest to start returning the displaced from outside Iraq, after security checks and some procedures related to their reintegration into society,” noting that
“the file of the return of the displaced to Sinjar needs security and political arrangements to prepare for their full return. They are around 200.” Thousands of citizens have fled to the region.
He pointed out that “the agreement on April 4 with the Kurdistan Regional Government is an important agreement, and it regulates the relationship that we contributed to organizing through the contents that we set in the tripartite budget project,” stressing that
“the loss of revenues of 475 thousand barrels per day is a large number and the damage will befall everyone, and within days we will go.” To the signing of contracts between SOMO and the oil companies, and the Turkish side is notified of the resumption of exports from the region.
And the Prime Minister stated, “It is the duty of the federal government to pay the salaries of employees, whether they are in the region or any governorate, and it is not an honor. This is what the Council of Ministers is working on,” noting that
“the total percentage of the Kurdistan region’s allocations in the budget is still fixed and is 12.67, and it has not been changed.””.
He pointed out that “the government submits a monthly report at every meeting of the state administration, on what has been accomplished, and the last report included an achievement rate of 31% within 6 months,” explaining that “crises are resolved by developing successful plans and tools and following up on implementation, and one of the problems with previous performance is that it contained courtesy.”
And he went on to say: “We set 6 months for a real evaluation according to professional standards, and in light of it it is determined whether or not the minister will remain in the government, and
we were given a period of 3 months, which is sufficient for general managers and their performance, and sufficient for the minister to know his tools and evaluate performance for them,” stressing,
“We have received evaluation forms for general managers.”
We are currently studying it, and after the holiday, the first round of assessments will begin. He pointed out that “the origin of the problem in Iraq is economic, and it has social consequences that led to manifestations of unemployment, poverty and poor services, and we put forward the term (productive diplomacy), and we were keen that all our visits to countries be preceded by planning and clear goals.”
The Industrial Research And Development Authority Organizes A Training Course On The Process Of Internal Auditing Of The International Standard (ISO 19011: 2018)
Posted On2023-04-24 By Sotaliraq – The Industrial Research and Development Authority, one of the formations of the Ministry of Industry and Minerals through the Quality Department and in coordination with the Ibn Al-Bitar Center and the National Center for Packaging and Packaging of which they belong, organized a training course on the internal audit process according to the international standard (ISO: 19011:2018) with the aim of training workers on internal audit systems Which lasted for four days, during which all the details and matters related to the internal audit process, the mechanism for developing and implementing the audit plan, and identifying and addressing non-conformities were explained.
The course also included the implementation of a practical exercise on internal auditing for the purpose of delivering information to the participants in a realistic manner, which increases their understanding of the training program in its details.
The lecturers at the course emphasized that the world is currently moving towards applying the latest administrative systems in all businesses and needs to improve management systems in accordance with international standards in all state institutions to advance their current reality by relying on management and auditing systems and the development of specialized bodies in this field to work on consolidating the frameworks of state management And its various joints, which seriously indicates the need to find effective auditing systems upon which state institutions rely in measuring the efficiency and evaluation of auditors effectively. LINK
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