Rudaw

Iraq’s 2019 budget too little for Sunnis, pricey for Kurds

Kurdish and Sunni representatives in the Iraqi parliament say they are not willing to vote for a 2019 budget bill currently under review, believing that it does not do their respective areas justice.

The parliamentary finance committee that includes five Kurdish members has done an initial review of the budget bill for 2019.

The Iraqi government has not increased the share of the Kurdistan Region from the federal budget, MPs told Rudaw.

However, Baghdad has agreed to give the Kurdish region 9.873 trillion dinars ($8.2 billion) provided that Erbil hands over 250,000 barrels of oil a day and shows receipts for its expenditures from 2004 to 2018.

But the Kurds have not agreed to these two conditions and are not prepared to vote for the current budget bill.

The Sunnis also believe the current bill is unfair given the extent of destruction in their areas during the war with ISIS.

A Sunni MP said that more than 80 percent of Anbar has been destroyed and yet only 139 billion dinars has been allocated to rebuild the province.

“Members of parliament should not approve the budget bill in its current form because it has completely sidelined newly liberated provinces,” Iraqi MP Entisar al-Jiburi told Rudaw.

“The people of these provinces suffered so much hardship in the past three years,” she added. “In addition, ISIS militants ruined these places during the offensive to liberate them. That is why the budget share currently allocated for these places should be increased.” Source