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Don961: Iraq is preparing to launch a passport with international specifications

January 27, 2021 3:08 am |  View Count: 0Author: alzawraapaper

Baghdad / Al-Zawra: The Directorate of Passports Affairs in the Iraqi Ministry of Interior is preparing for the process of issuing a new Iraqi passport with international specifications. The Director of Passport Affairs at the Ministry of Interior, Major General Ahmed Abdul Sattar, said in a press statement: “The Passports Directorate will start work on issuing the new passport in the second half From this year.

”Abd al-Sattar added that“ the new passport carries international specifications and includes a sim card chip, ”confirming the agreement with the Ministry of Communications to complete all specifications after the arrival of the printers and changing the programs.

The Minister of Interior, Othman Al-Ghanmi, confirmed, earlier, the work On changing the Iraqi passport and making it with international standards befitting the status and stature of Iraq. link

Don961:  Conscious / Deputy: A request to the Presidency of Parliament includes 6 amendments to the 2021 budget

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Conscious / Baghdad / h. G

Today, Tuesday, a member of Parliament, Ammar Tohme, submitted a request to the Presidency of Parliament, which included 6 amendments to the 2021 budget, including a demand to reduce the exchange rate to 1,300 dinars and cancel deductions for certain categories of employees.

And (Iraqi Media News Agency / INA) obtained a document for the request of Deputy Ammar Tohme, addressed to the Presidency of the Council, which included a request to reduce the exchange rate to 1,300 dinars, and to cancel deductions for employees with salaries below a million and a half.

Tohme’s request was supported by 113 deputies in the House of Representatives.   LINK

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Samson:  Dagher: $ 6.5 billion in loans were wasted in two years

27th January, 2021

Economist Mahmoud Dagher revealed a waste of 6.5 billion dollars that occurred during the years 2015 and 2016

Dagher said in a televised interview followed by “Al-Eqtisad News” that Iraq obtained loans from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank worth 6.5 billion dollars during 2015 and 2016 that were supposed to “go to fill the budget deficit and repair the electricity system

Dagher added that these loans were completely wasted and not invested, as we still suffer from a great shortage in the supply of electric power

He emphasized that the problem is not with the loan donors, but rather with the administration of these loans and the way they are spent by the Iraqi government

He pointed out that “if these loans were spent on supporting local factories and farmers, we would not need more loans   LINK

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Samson:  The Iraqi parliament proposes two options regarding Kurdistan’s share of the budget

26th January, 2021

Two Kurdish sources in the Iraqi Parliament (Parliament) revealed, on Tuesday, the details of the discussions between the Kurdistan Regional Government delegation and the Parliamentary Finance Committee in the Iraqi parliament.

During the past 24 hours, the regional government delegation held two rounds of talks with members of the Parliamentary Finance Committee regarding the region’s share in the federal financial budget for the current year.

Jamal Cougar, a member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, said in a statement to Shafaq News that the Parliamentary Finance Committee had put two options on the table for discussions before the region’s delegation, namely: handing over 250 thousand barrels per day or the entire oil file to the federal government.

He added that the Kurdish delegation expressed its agreement to deliver 250 thousand barrels of oil per day in addition to half of the internal revenues and the crossings to Baghdad, but the parliamentary blocs in the Iraqi parliament did not decide on including any of the two options in the draft budget.

Cougar pointed out that the two parties agreed to assign the head of the Parliamentary Finance Committee to address the parliamentary blocs to find out which of the two options they wish to include in the budget law instead of the formula received by the federal government. 

According to the agreement concluded between the governments of Baghdad and Erbil and contained in the draft budget law, the region’s share is about 12.6 percent of the budget, in addition to the disbursement of the salaries of the Peshmerga, in exchange for handing over the region’s revenues from the sale of 250 thousand barrels per day of oil extracted from the fields of the region. 

For her part, the head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) bloc in the Iraqi parliament, Vian Sabri, said, “The discussions with the Parliamentary Finance Committee are going well.” She continued in her interview with Shafaq News, “But the parliamentary blocs say that they will not vote on the region’s share, unless the entire oil file is handed over to the federal government.” “We are waiting for what the talks will lead to,” Sabri added.

The regional government delegation arrived in Baghdad on Monday, and included Minister of Finance Awat Sheikh Janab, Minister of Planning Dara Rashid, Minister of the Region Khaled Shawani, and Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of the region Omid Sabah.

The new round of talks comes to ensure that the various parties agree on the provisions of the draft budget related to the Kurdistan Region before submitting it to a vote in Parliament. The Kurdistan Region has been suffering from a stifling financial crisis, as Baghdad has cut the salaries of the region’s employees since last April.  LINK

Samson:  Governmental clarification on the mechanism of obtaining loans from the International Monetary Fund

27th January, 2021

Advisor to the Prime Minister for Financial Affairs, Mazhar Muhammad Salih, explained, on Wednesday, the mechanism for obtaining loans from the International Monetary Fund.

Saleh said, according to the official agency, said that “part of the loan that gets by Iraq from the International Monetary Fund called by means accelerating funding, pointing out that “the fund when he sees any country has a deficit of large current account balance of payments is to provide a soft loan.”

He added, “The loans that he will receive were two billion dollars, and there are four billion more, stressing that these loans come to reform the Iraqi economy.” And he stated, “The white paper is consistent with any reform program, this depends on the money that comes from the IMF, pointing out that the money it is called precautionary, meaning that when Iraq needs, it is withdrawn according to its need.”

He pointed out, “Iraq has conducted about five agreements with the International Monetary Fund after 2003, three of which are credit readiness, one after conflicts, and another called the Staff Monitor, stressing that they were successful agreements.”

He continued, “There is continuous cooperation between Iraq and the International Monetary Fund, as Iraq is a founding country of the Fund since 1945 and it is an active and important member in the Middle East region.”     LINK

OlLar:  IMO Great clarification, I think this is pretty normal for countries, kinda like revolving credit, think they are about to put on their “Big Boy Pants”

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Clare:  26 JANUARY, 2021

Interview: JP Morgan is the US dollar clearer for Arab Monetary Fund’s Buna system

BUNA has currently close to 30 banks onboarded and is in discussion with more than 130 banks from 13 different countries, its CEO told Zawya

By Seban Scaria, ZAWYA

The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) has appointed J.P. Morgan as a settlement bank for the US dollar (USD) in its Buna Payment System, which was launched last year.

Besides offering its participants access to the global currency, the regional payments and settlements system will onboard the euro, Jordanian dinar and an international currency likely from an Asian country in 2021, Mehdi Manaa, the CEO of Buna, told Zawya in an interview.

Before the deal with JP Morgan, Buna had been offering its services with the UAE dirham, Egyptian pound and Saudi riyal.

“From the value of proposition, the US dollar represents 55 percent of cross-border payments in the region. So it is obviously a key currency for banks to consider for cross-border payments in a centralised way in BUNA,” Manaa said.

“Processing dollar payments between participants will be immediate and direct between the two of them, without the need to go outside the region and being constrained by [the] different time zones and different operating borders and intermediaries of each bank,” he added.

Buna has been expanding its network with banks and corporates aligning with its borader vision to promote trade and foster economic activities among Arab countries and its main trading partners.

BUNA has currently close to 30 banks onboarded and is in discussion with more than 130 banks from 13 different countries, Manaa said.

“Today, cross border payment is very costly, takes a lot of time and [is] inefficient to some extent. With Buna we resolve all that. It is real-time and reduces the chain that is involved in processing a payment end-to-end,” he said.

Several cross-border payments and settlements in the Middle East are carried out by correspondent banks, which are banks in one country acting as agents to foreign financial institutions that do not have a local presence. However, this has turned out to be an expensive process, mainly due to the anti-money-laundering rules of European and US banks.

“Compliance is a key proposition in the value proposition of Buna. Normally payment systems are not subject to AML safety rules. This applies to banks and not the market infrastructure.

Despite that, in Buna, the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) rules are embedded in the system, ensuring that all participants adhere to the AML rules stipulated by the central governments,” Manaa said.

He added that the cost of transacting through the platform will be between 3 to 10 times lower than existing traditional approaches.

(Reporting by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)

Don961:  The dollar will rise against the Iraqi dinar after approving the 2021 budget: There is a “backup” plan to pay the matter, so what will happen!

2021-01-27   Yes Iraq – Baghdad

During the previous days, great concerns were raised about the rise in the exchange rates of the dollar against the Iraqi dinar after the approval of the 2021 budget in the coming days, followed by a parliamentary intention to reduce it to 130,000 as a request on the parliament table, according to documents published recently.

The appearance of Muhammad Salih, the economic and financial advisor to the prime minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, commented today, Wednesday, that there are fears of a jump in the exchange rate of the dollar, after the House of Representatives approved the financial budget for the current year 2021.

In a press statement, Mazhar Muhammad Saleh said: “The talk about the existence of fears of a jump in the exchange rate of the dollar after the House of Representatives approved the 2021 budget, is exaggerations that do not exist,” stressing that “no change in the exchange rate of the dollar against the Iraqi dinar has occurred. After the budget ”.

Saleh emphasized, “The Central Bank of Iraq has sufficient reserves, and the bank has mechanisms to stabilize the exchange rate as stated in the budget, and it has the ability to intervene to maintain the shape of the dollar exchange rate, and for this reason, any discussion of exaggerated fears does not exist in the first place.” .

Earlier, a member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Jamal Cougar, confirmed, Tuesday 1/19-2021, that restoring the exchange rate of the dollar against the Iraqi dinar to its previous position at the present time is very difficult, pointing out that the local markets will stabilize after the passage of the budget bill for 2021 .

Commenting on the current fluctuation in exchange rates, Cougar said, “Financial dealings are currently going on the new fiscal policy drawn up by the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance regarding the dollar exchange rate, so it is difficult to restore the exchange rate to its previous position at the present time at least.”

He added that “the instability in the local markets will stabilize after the enactment of the budget law for the year 2021, and the official adoption of the new exchange rate,” stressing that “this will remove concerns and revive the markets again.”

Yesterday, a member of Parliament, Ammar Tohme, submitted a request to the Presidency of Parliament, which included 16 amendments to the 2021 budget, including a demand to reduce the exchange rate to 1,300 dinars and cancel deductions for certain categories of employees.

A document was published for the request of Representative Ammar Tohme, addressed to the Presidency of the Council, which included a demand to reduce the exchange rate to 1,300 dinars, and to cancel deductions for employees with salaries below a million and a half.

Tohme’s request was supported by 113 deputies in the House of Representatives.   LINK