Iraq froze recruitment and bonuses in response to the IMF


Iraq froze recruitment and bonuses in response to the IMF
Baghdad Ali Husseini

1 January 2018

A senior government official in Baghdad said thebudget for 2018does not include any financial allocations for new appointments in state institutions, including the defense and interior ministries.

The official said in a statement to the “New Arab” that the budget does not include any allowances or increase in salaries of employees in all state institutions, pointing out that this step comes in response to the recommendations and conditions ofthe International Monetary Fund , which Iraq seeks to borrow from it to fill the budget deficit .

Iraq’s budget next year is estimated at 96 billion dollars, with an expected deficit of 12 billion dollars. The Executive Board of the IMF has concluded with Iraq in 2016, an agreement to lend Baghdad $ 5.34 billion, in return for the implementation of the program of economic reform.

“The IMF has indicated that more than 1 million jobs out of 4 million are sagging, they do not work more than 30 minutes a day and their presence is not important at all,” the government official said.

The IMF’s recommendations are to limit government employment, at a time when Iraq is suffering mainly from a rise in the number of unemployed, which the Central Bureau of Statistics estimated at the end of December 2017, by about 4 million unemployed, as well as high employment among children and low standard of living.

In the meantime, a letter from the Ministry of Finance addressed to the ministries of state, obtained a copy of the “new Arab”, requests to stop the appointments and contracts in government departments and institutions, as well as stop the transfer of staff between ministries as well as non-affiliated with the Ministry effective January 1, This month, referring to the suspension of bonuses and salary increases also. “We warn against fraud networks that take money from university graduates for promises to employ them in government institutions,” the government official said.

The Ministry of Finance pointed to the continuation of the salaries of employees for the month of January for all ministries, in an indication that the parliament may not pass the budget for the new year soon, according to a government source.

On December 20, the parliament reintroduced the federal budget to the government, with the aim of making amendments to it, after the reservation of some political blocs on many of its clauses.

The Iraqi government and parliamentary sources revealed in statements to the “New Arab” at the end of December, the existence of parliamentary objections to more than 20 items, notably the allocations for the reconstruction of cities liberated from the control of the organization and the compensation of the affected and displaced, and the share of the Kurdistan region, Which has been reduced to 12% instead of 17%. The parliamentary blocs also oppose the return of provincial quotas in public and development jobs and projects.

Iraq is suffering from economic difficulties. Its foreign exchange reserves have fallen with global oil prices and the cost of war against a pro-Western organization to $ 45 billion by the end of 2016, compared to $ 54 billion in 2015.

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