Shafaq News

  In Shafaaq 

Parliamentary Finance: Carrying forward the 2021 budget is an option

On Friday, the Parliamentary Finance Committee ruled out the vote on the budget bill in the House of Representatives session tomorrow, Saturday, revealing the possibility of postponing approval of the budget until further notice.

Committee member Jamal Cougar told Shafaq News, “The vote on the general budget law for 2021 in a session tomorrow, Saturday, is very unlikely, due to the large number of differences and Shiite and Sunni demands on the articles and paragraphs of the budget.”

He added that “there are controversial points on the budget law, except for Article 11 related to the region’s oil, which is related to the development of the regions, the exchange rate of the dollar and the distribution of the investment budget, projects to the provinces, in addition to the share of social welfare.”

And Cougar said, “The vote or the transfer of the budget law to other notice will be decided next week,” expecting at the same time to resolve it by the end of the week.

The Iraqi parliament had failed to vote on the federal budget bill for 2021, following the continuing disagreements over some items.

The budget allocations are estimated at 130 trillion Iraqi dinars (about $ 89.6 billion).

Article 11 of the draft budget relates to the share of the Kurdistan Region, and stipulates that it will deliver 250 thousand barrels of oil per day, with tax revenues to Baghdad, in return for receiving 12.6 percent of the budget.

However, some political blocs are demanding that the article be amended to include a text that holds anyone who decides to spend these funds to the region legally responsible if their oil is not delivered to the federal government.

Political blocs also reject what was stipulated in the budget to exclude a segment of citizens whose monthly salaries exceed 1.5 million dinars (about $ 1030) from benefiting from the ration card, which is a program for the distribution of food rations to the population that has been followed since the imposition of the blockade on the country in the 1990s.

And other blocs refuse to vote on the budget if the exchange rate of the dinar against the dollar is not modified, by returning it to its normal condition 1168 thousand dinars per ($ 100) instead of 1450 per ($ 100).

Iraq relies on oil sales revenues to finance about 95 percent of state expenditures, and is suffering from a stifling financial crisis, as a result of the decline in crude prices under pressure from the Corona pandemic.