Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) spokesperson Jotiar Adil (File)
3 minutes ago
SULAIMANI — Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Spokesperson Jotiar Adil said on Sunday (May 31) that the Kurdistan Region is committed to its agreement with the federal government to resolve their budget dispute and will send a negotiating delegation to Baghdad to reach a full agreement.
“We have talked about it earlier: the [KRG] delegation will go to Baghdad and will negotiate. We as the Kurdistan Region are committed to the final understanding reached in 2019, in which the Region’s budget and financial benefits were discussed,” said Adil told reporters during a press conference.
“We are committed to the legal principles so that we can receive Kurdistan’s financial benefits. Therefore, the discussions will continue,” he added.
Earlier on Sunday, the federal Ministry of Finance said that it will not release any additional money to the Kurdistan Region until Baghdad and Erbil fully resolve their dispute.
Under the terms of the 2019 Federal Budget Law, Baghdad is expected to send 12.67 percent of the entire budget to the Kurdistan Region, in return for 250,000 barrels of crude oil per day for export.
However, Erbil never sent any oil and, after fifteen months of sending limited funding to pay for public sector salaries, Baghdad froze all transfers, sparking a major cash crunch in Erbil that was compounded by low oil prices.
Adil said that the Region’s income has decreased by more than 80 percent since then and that the KRG borrowed money to pay for the salaries that they disbursed in May to public sector employees. He assured the public that the government is making preparations for the June disbursement.
During the press conference, he also addressed a recent spike in the number of coronavirus cases, with more than 300 people testing positive since May 13.
“Coronavirus is a serious danger and the people of the Kurdistan Region should be aware of and follow the [public] health guidelines,” he said.
“People should act accountably because, if not, the situation will get out of control.”
(NRT Digital Media)