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Sandman: Iraqi government to begin implementation phase of the White Paper for Economic Reform

“the Iraq Economic Contact Group (IECG) whose mission is to provide the support needed for the economic reform process in Iraq within the framework of the White Paper.

The IECG includes, in addition to Iraq, the G7 group of industrialised countries, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Union.”

https://gds.gov.iq/iraqi-government-to-begin-implementation-phase-of-the-white-paper-for-economic-reform/

Samson:  Punishment: Dollar speculation with corrupt banks cost the state a trillion dinars a month

13:16 – 16/02/2021
Member of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Hussein Al-Oqabi, revealed, on Tuesday, that Iraq lost a trillion dinars as a result of speculations adopted by corrupt private banks after the conflicting news about the dollar’s prices, indicating that the only solution is to return the dollar to its current price.

“We call on the judiciary and the public prosecutor to open a file regarding Iraq’s loss of about one trillion dinars, one month after the leaks of raising the dollar ahead of its time by corrupt banks,” Al-Aqabi said in a statement to Al- Maouma.

He added that “the currency auction and oil licensing rounds contain great suspicions of corruption and annually cost the state $ 15 billion, and the government must cancel it.”


Al-Aqabi explained that “the current trend is towards forming a political bloc that mobilizes in order to restore the unfair decision against the Iraqi economy to raise the price of the dollar and return it to its previous era.”   LINK

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Don961:  In the video, dozens of people demonstrate to demand a reduction in the dollar exchange rate

Posted 18 hours ago

News source / Alsumaria channel

Dozens of earners and office owners demonstrated in a beautiful Alwa in Baghdad to demand a reduction in the dollar exchange rate against the dinar to restore market stability.

The high exchange rate of the dollar against the Iraqi dinar reflected negatively on all market joints, especially those with limited income and importers of agricultural crops in a beautiful aloe who protested on this basis.

The agricultural crops market in Jamila suffers from being dumped by the importer, which has severely affected the local produce and farmers’ crops.

Consequently, the wheel of agriculture, industry and trade faces a number of challenges, the most prominent of which is the failure of the concerned authorities to pay attention to activating the private sector and opening the border crossings wide open to foreign countries.  LINK

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Samson:  Iraq takes a series of decisions to “reform the economic and financial situation”

16th February, 2021

The Iraqi Council of Ministers decided to form the Supreme Committee for Reform of the requirements for implementing the “white paper” program, related to the economic and financial reform project in the country.

A statement by the Iraqi Ministry of Finance stated, “The committee is headed by the Prime Minister and includes in its membership all the ministers of finance (two representatives), planning and oil, the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Executive Director of the Supreme Committee for Reform (a rapporteur), the advisor to the prime minister for strategic affairs and the head of the legal department In the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister’s Adviser for Economic Affairs, in addition to two experts nominated by the Prime Minister and a representative of each of the two international organizations (the International Contact Group and the World Bank Group) as observers, without either of them having the right to vote.

Based on the decision, the Supreme Committee for Reform undertakes the following tasks:

Firstly:

1- Supervising the implementation of the reform program and the projects it consists of, according to the plans and timetables approved by the Supreme Committee for Reform, including adding, deleting or amending new projects.

2- Ensuring the availability of administrative and financing approvals in a timely manner during implementation and taking the necessary measures to overcome emerging obstacles.

3- Coordinating the work of the various bodies responsible for implementation and support, defining the duties of each of them, and achieving integration between them.

4- Monitoring good performance and applying accountability according to the law.

5- Submit periodic reports on the progress of the reform program to the Council of Ministers.

Secondly:

1- The Cabinet Resolution (18 of 2020) is repealed and the Supreme Committee for Reform replaces the Emergency Cell for Financial Reform established pursuant to it.

2- Meetings of the Supreme Committee for Reform are held at the invitation of the President or his deputy, with the approval of the President and in the presence of at least half of its members, including the Chairman or his deputy, in the absence of the Chairman, and decisions are taken by the majority of the attendees, including the Chair.

3- The committee meetings are at least quarterly.

4- The Supreme Committee for Reform has an executive director named by the Prime Minister, who is directly related to him and authorizes the necessary powers to implement the committee’s decisions and recommendations and achieve its goals and is tasked with following up the implementation of its decisions and recommendations and conducting its daily affairs under the supervision of its president.

5 – The Supreme Committee for Reform to form work teams or sub-committees to carry out specific tasks and to delegate the necessary powers to achieve its goals and facilitate its work.

6- The Supreme Committee may host whom it deems appropriate to attend its meetings, in order to fulfill its duties.

7 – The Prime Minister authorizes the powers of the Council of Ministers for the work of the Supreme Committee for Reform.

Third:

The formation of a cell called (Reform Management Cell) headed by the Executive Director of the Supreme Committee for Reform, to be based in the Prime Minister’s office and undertake the following tasks:

1- Executive management of the entire reform program under the supervision of the Supreme Committee for Reform.

2- Providing support to the officials of the reform program projects and the relevant executive teams, to improve performance and confirm the selection of the best operational paths to achieve the set goals.

3- Enhancing communication between project officials and work teams on matters pertaining to each project and coordinating interconnectedness between different projects within the reform program to enhance complementarity and synchronization in implementation.

4- Dealing with developments directly, first level, for reporting and solving problems.

5- Following up the implementation of basic activities and evaluating performance with an independent professional evaluation and submitting periodic reports to the Supreme Reform Committee, including reporting on the level of work progress, obstacles, anticipated risks and suggested solutions.

6- Watching in determining the procedures required of the project official in the event of delay in implementation or deviation from the correct path.

7- Following up on the officials of the reform program projects and holding them accountable in case of delay in achieving the goals approved within the approved timetable.

8- Any additional tasks assigned to the cell by the Supreme Committee for Reform.

Fourthly:

The executive director of the Supreme Committee for Reform has the authority to contract with experts and executives without pay and has the authority to duly contract for a fee with the approval of the Supreme Committee for Reform.

Fifthly:

All government agencies are obligated to give the reform program priority, cooperate and coordinate between them and the reform management cell and submit the required reports and data within the specified time period, including naming an official whose rank is not less than a general director for each project and allocating the work teams and human and material resources required to ensure the progress of the reform program according to the approved plans.  LINK

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Samson:  Among them is the absence of members … a number of reasons that hinder parliamentary integrity

15th February, 2021

A member of the Parliamentary Integrity Committee revealed, on Monday, a number of reasons for the committee’s failure to perform its duties, including the absence of its members, despite the rampant corruption in the country.

Committee member Jamal Muhammad told Shafaq News, “The Corona pandemic and the change of the government cabinet have caused confusion and disrupted the work of the committee, in addition to the constant absence of committee members and the lack of adequate legal quorum over the past months.” He pointed out that “the current committee did not summon or question any executive official in the current government until now.”

Muhammad revealed that he had submitted a formal application to join the Parliamentary Agriculture Committee, as he was not convinced of the tasks and role of the current Integrity Committee in Parliament. He added that political pressures and other circumstances beyond the will of the representatives disrupted and weakened most of the current parliament committees.

Iraq is among the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International’s index over the past years.

Corruption, along with security tensions, are two of the main reasons successive governments fail to improve the country’s conditions, despite the large financial revenues from the sale of oil.    LINK

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Samson:  Sentencing to five years imprisonment for the former governor of Nineveh, Nawfal Al-Akoub

16th February, 2021

The Central Anti-Corruption Criminal Court at the Presidency of the Baghdad Appeals Court Al-Karkh Federal issued two judgments against the former governor of Nineveh, Nawfal Hammadi Al-Sultan, for the crime of introducing fake projects in the governorate.

The Media Center of the Supreme Judicial Council said, “The Central Anti-Corruption Criminal Court considered two calls for the former Nineveh Governor Nawfal Hammadi Al-Sultan and issued two judgments against him. The first is severe imprisonment for a period of three years, and the second is severe imprisonment for two years while giving the right to Nineveh governorate to claim compensation in accordance with the provisions of Article 340 of the Law. Iraqi sanctions.”

He added that “the convict was criminalized for mock projects in cleaning and rehabilitating buildings in Nineveh Governorate for the period from 2017 to 2019.”  LINK

Samson:  Al-Nusiri calls on the government to preserve hard currency and prevent its leakage to the outside

16th February, 2021

The economic and banking advisor, Samir Al-Nasiri, confirmed, on Tuesday, that hard currency in Iraq is still subject to leakage outside the country and called on the government and its specialized economic institutions to take measures, mechanisms, and economic, financial and monetary policies.

Al-Nusiri said in an interview with Al-Eqtisad News, that the foreign currency will not return due to unplanned and uncontrolled imports of consumer and unnecessary goods and goods from poor origins and outside the Iraqi standard specifications, while putting forward a set of proposals that would preserve the hard currency that Iraq needs in his current crisis he is going through.

He added that Iraq since 2003 until now has not stimulated and activated the productive sectors such as industry, agriculture, energy and tourism, and the local product, which is the basis for determining imports, has not been supported, indicating that import is a complement to local production and not a substitute for it, but after the opening of borders and markets and the entry of poor imported materials at prices. Low compared to the local product, due to the insecurity of raw materials and government support, which led to the exit of hard currency, mainly through imports of the private sector.

Al-Nusiri stated that the best solution to preserve hard currency is for the government to support local production and activate the laws to protect the local product and protect the consumer, which are laws that have been on the shelves for years and have not been activated, stressing the importance of providing raw materials and electricity to the factories, structuring government factories and engaging the private sector. In its management.

He continued that Iraq without local products that match the importer cannot maintain its hard currency as required, pointing to the need for the government to address the structural imbalance in the economy, activate the productive sectors, and address the deficit in non-oil revenue and the deficit in the balance of payments and the trade balance.

“We are a country that does not have a clear economic approach, and the private sector has not been involved in making economic decisions, which requires and must be supported by the government,” Al-Nusairi said.  LINK

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Samson:  The Lebanese government is close to signing a trade exchange agreement with Iraq

16th February, 2021

A Lebanese newspaper revealed, on Tuesday, that the government in Beirut is preparing to sign a trade exchange agreement with Iraq, according to which Lebanon will receive 500 thousand tons of crude oil for a year in exchange for payment of its value in the form of medical goods, medicines and consulting services

The Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper, quoting private sources, stated that the Lebanese government is working to finalize the draft agreement, to be followed by the relevant Lebanese ministers heading to Iraq to sign it

According to the newspaper, importing oil from Iraq comes after closing all international doors to Lebanon and the siege imposed on it. It will save Lebanon from darkness after the end of the contract with Sonatrach, even if the quantities will be less than what is required

The main problem was that Iraqi fuel did not conform to the specifications adopted in Lebanon, but it was agreed to transfer it in Iraq or barter it through an Iraqi company for fuel that matches the specifications with a deferred payment mechanism, for a period of at least 6 months   LINK