Iraqi MPs fail to pass gov’t proposed budget, will hear party complaints

The Iraqi MPs failed to reach a consensus on the draft budget bill for 2019, leaving it on November 20. However, two delegations are expected to meet with political parties and take their reservations.

“It is not only Kurds. The issue is that the person who prepared this draft bill seems to have come from another world or country. If you compare this draft bill with the program and agenda of Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s government, you will see that they are two different things,” said Rebwar Taha from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) bloc.

He added that two committees — one from the government and a special group of MPs — will meet with political parties on Sunday and Monday, denying the claims that the current government has refused changes to the draft bill as it was prepared by the previous government.

The government does not seem content with the draft bill as well.

Iraqi Finance Minister Fuad Hussein from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) attended Monday’s session where he talked about the incumbent government’s vision on the 2018 budget draft bill.

Hussein is also the deputy prime minister for financial affairs in Baghdad.

He said that the current government’s vision is different from the previous one and explained they have experienced issues in dealing with the law because of a lack of time.

Hussein promised to work with the legislature transparently and maintain their coordination.

Regarding the Kurdistan Regional Government, he said that Erbil has submitted its reservations regarding the budget.

Taha said that the demands of Iraqi people have to be met, such as those of the recent protesters in Basra.

The issue of lifting checkpoints between Kurdistan Region and Kirkuk was in the agenda of the parliament but it was tabled to another day, the PUK MP added.

Among those MPs who have reservations on the draft bill are Kurdistanis and Sunnis and some Shiite MPs.

Kurds believe that their share, which has been set as less than $8 billion, shall be no less than $10 billion, Sunnis demand a budget for the reconstruction of the war-torn predominately Sunni Arab provinces like Nineveh, Anbar, Saladin and Diyala. Shiites want the demands of their protesters met. Source