Iraq government gets parliament’s nod for massive borrowing

Approval for raising $5bn abroad and 15 trillion dinars locally comes amid a cash crunch caused by fall in oil prices

Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Mina Aldroubi

June 25, 2020

Iraq’s parliament authorised the new government to borrow up to $5 billion (Dh18bn) from abroad after the fall in oil prices caused a financial crunch.

The vote on Wednesday came a few days after international rating agency Fitch forecast the economy to shrink 9 per cent this year and debt to skyrocket.

The agency said public debt would rise to 80 per cent of gross domestic product in 2020-2021 from 47 per cent last year.

Iraqi MP Jaber Al Jaberi said pressure to pay government salaries prompted parliament’s overwhelming approval of the borrowing, despite misgivings about increasing the nation’s debt.

Borrowing is the easy way. Sooner or later it will lead to an economic collapse

“Borrowing is the easy way. Sooner or later it will lead to an economic collapse,” he told The National.

The parliamentarian, who represents the Sunni province of Anbar, said salaries and pensions cost the government $5bn a month, compared with $2bn of oil revenue in May.

Mr Al Jaberi said Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi should have forcefully signalled his intention for reform by taking decisive measures against corruption and ending the reign of militias.

Fitch said oil price declines have limited Iraq’s “ability to respond to the fiscal crisis”, pointing out that oil comprises 50 per cent of GDP and 90 per cent of government revenues.

The short-worded borrowing bill said the money raised from debt in foreign currency has to go towards development.

Parliament also authorised the government to borrow 15 trillion dinars on the local market, equivalent to $13bn.

The bill passed with 168 votes in favour out of 186 members who attended the session.

The coronavirus pandemic has largely curbed attendance in the 329-member parliament over the past few months.

Under the 2005 constitution, enacted after the toppling of Saddam Hussein two years earlier in the US-led invasion, the legislature has to approve all government borrowing.

Post-Saddam era governments accumulated debt, mostly locally, but legislative approval became difficult in the last five years, partly because parliamentarians demanded more rewards for their constituencies.

Mr Al Kadhimi, a former intelligence chief backed by the United States, does not belong to a political group.

Even before he became prime minister last month, he had to placate an array of groups in parliament, the most powerful of which are allied with Iran.

He courted this week Moqtada Al Sadr, a Shiite cleric who has been the kingmaker in Iraqi politics for the past decade.

The secular prime minister paid condolences to Mr Al Sadr to mark 21 years since the killing of Mr Sadr’s father, Ayatollah Mohammad Sadiq Al Sadr.

Mohammad Sadiq, who identified with Iraq’s downtrodden Shiites, was the victim of “Saddamist treachery”, Mr Al Al Kadhimi said.

The lot of the people whose cause he championed has improved little, despite the Shiite ascendency since 2003, at the centre of which has been his son.

With Iraq struggling financially, the country’s politico-religious power brokers accepted Mr Al Kadhimi to come and repair the mess.

They remain wary about giving him too much control, the huge borrowing authorisation notwithstanding.

Updated: June 25, 2020 07:58 PM

Iraq-businessnews.com

Al-Asam confirms the seriousness and ability of Al-Kazemi to track armed groups and reveal their identities

Baghdad / news

Former military advisor Safaa Al-Aasam confirmed today, Sunday, the ability of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Mustafa al-Kazemi, to track down the armed groups and reveal their identities in a short time.

Al-Asam told Al-Akhbariya that “Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi is very serious in tracing armed groups and revealing their identities.” He pointed out that “Al-Kazemi also has the ability to put an end to these groups very quickly.”

He added that “eight years of missile strikes by groups that sometimes call the resistance or armed groups unchecked and are in fact outlawed groups and rebel against the state !!”

Al-Asam pointed out that “the operations started from the time of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki until now, and they cause embarrassment and a real challenge to Al-Kazimi’s government to the world and foreign relations in conjunction with the strategic dialogue between the United States of America and Baghdad.”

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi has vowed to eliminate “Katyusha cells” that threaten the security of the state and citizens, while 14 people were arrested by the anti-terror agency three days ago in the Dora area who were intending to target the Green Zone, and two platforms and several missiles were seized in their possession, and they were deposited Prison in the crowd security for interrogation.

https://www.ikhnews.com/index.php?page=article&id=220073

The end of the Al-Fayadh, Al-Maliki, and Al-Amiri meeting ends with the delivery of a strongly worded message to Al-Kazemi

Baghdad / Al-Akhbariya:

A political source revealed, on Monday, the end of a meeting of Shiite political forces in the home of the head of the Alliance of the Hadi al-Fathi al-Amiri, indicating that the meeting recommended the delivery of a strongly worded message to Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi.

The source told “Al-Ikhbaria” that “a meeting of the Shiite political forces ended in the house of the head of the Al-Fath Alliance Hadi al-Amiri and in the presence of the head of the State of Law coalition Nuri al-Maliki and Faleh al-Fayyad and most other political forces.”

He added, “The meeting ended with the delivery of messages to Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi expressing” discontent “over the government’s lack of interest in tackling the Corona crisis and the economic crisis, as well as the Shiite leaders’ assertion that they are not satisfied with targeting the popular crowd.” .

https://www.ikhnews.com/index.php?page=article&id=220115

Joint operations: the heroes of Iraq have achieved their goals

 

Political| 06:47 – 06/28/2020

Baghdad – Mawazine News. The
joint operations confirmed on Sunday that the third stage of the operations of the Iraqi heroes achieved their goals in chasing the remnants of the ISIS terrorist gangs and were able to clear the lands, kill and capture a number of terrorists.
Operations spokesman Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji said, “The first, second and third Iraqi operations of the heroes have been able to achieve their military objectives and have succeeded in the security and intelligence fields, and have resulted in important results in pursuing ISIS gangs and drying out the sources of terrorism.”
He added that “the importance of these operations carried out by the security services and the popular crowd, lies in the fact that they did not leave the remnants of the ISIS terrorist gangs safe places, that they can ditch them and enable them to carry out terrorist acts in areas that they consider hot, as well as the adoption of a new strategy and tactics in pursuit of remnants ISIS differs from its predecessors. “
 He pointed out that “the battle with ISIS security and intelligence at the present time, and that the areas that were used by terrorist terrorist gangs as transport lines, logistical support and management of terrorist operations are now in the hands of the security forces.”
 Al-Khafaji continued, “The operations of the Iraqi heroes could not achieve the great results without the cooperation of the citizens, and that the people have a major role in these operations by providing the security forces with information about the presence of the sleeping terrorist cells.” Ended 29 / h

Kurdistan National: Negotiations between Baghdad and Erbil include the outlets from Ibrahim Al-Khalil to FAO

 

Political| 06:20 – 28/06/2020

Baghdad – Mawazine News
, a deputy of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan confirmed, on Sunday, negotiations between Baghdad and Erbil, including the outlets from Ibrahim Al-Khalil to FAO.
“The talks between the regional and federal governments are proceeding well,” MP Hassan Ali said, according to his party’s flags. “The two sides are committed to continuing the success of the talks.”
On the border crossings, Ali added, “The border crossings are part of the negotiation file, confirming that it” includes all ports starting from the Ibrahim Khalil outlet to the FAO. “End 29 / h

Document … Al-Kazemi makes new administrative changes

 

 20/26/2020 10:15:31
A- A A +

Shafak News / On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi made a number of changes to the Board of Commissioners of the Media and Communications Authority.

And according to Diwani’s order signed by his office director Raed Jouhi, who was seen by Shafaq News, Al-Kazimi decided to end the assignment of Ashraf Al-Dahan, Khalil Al-Tayyar and Safa Al-Din Hussein from the Board of Commissioners in the Information Authority.

  Al-Kazemi also decided to “assign Bassam Salem, headed by the Board of Commissioners of the Media Commission, and Mohamed Abdel-Sadah and Adel Salman, as a member of the Council.”

A military adviser confirms the seriousness and ability of Al-Kazemi to trace armed groups and reveal their identities

 

Political

Sunday 28 June 2020 | 04:46 pm

Former military advisor Safaa Al-Aasam confirmed today, Sunday, the ability of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Mustafa al-Kazemi, to track down the armed groups and reveal their identities in a short time.

Al-Aasam said that “Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi is very serious in tracing armed groups and revealing their identities,” pointing out that “Al-Kazemi also has the ability to put an end to these groups very quickly.”

He added that “eight years of missile strikes by groups that sometimes call the resistance or armed groups unchecked and are in fact outlawed groups and rebel against the state !!”

Al-Asam pointed out that “the operations started from the time of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki until now, and they cause embarrassment and a real challenge to Al-Kazimi’s government to the world and foreign relations in conjunction with the strategic dialogue between the United States of America and Baghdad.”

https://aynaliraqnews.com/index.php?aa=news&id22=135631

Iraq and Kuwait agree to form joint committees to activate the outcomes of the donor conference

 

Sunday, June 28, 2020 1:10 PM
Iraq and Kuwait agree to form joint committees to activate the outcomes of the donor conference
The Iraqi Minister of Planning meets the Kuwaiti Ambassador in Baghdad

Mustafa Anbar wrote

Sharing

Iraqi Minister of Planning Khaled Battal Al-Najm and Kuwaiti Ambassador to Iraq Salem Al-Zamanan agreed today, Sunday, to form joint committees to activate the outputs of the Kuwait Donors Conference that was held at the beginning of 2018, while the minister called “The Star” Kuwaiti companies to take advantage of the available investment opportunities in Iraq, The Iraqi Ministry of Planning said in a statement, “Minister of Planning Khaled Battal Al-Najm received, at his office in the Ministry’s office, today, Sunday, the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Iraq, Salem Ghassab Al-Zamanan. 

The statement added, “The two sides discussed a number of issues of common concern, especially with regard to strengthening bilateral relations in the economic and investment fields, among them, the rehabilitation and development of the Safwan border port, and the implementation of a number of service projects, in the health and education sectors and the implementation of Ya Hussein Road, The link between the southern governorates and Karbala governorate, through a number of central governorates .

The two parties agreed, according to the statement, to “form joint Iraqi-Kuwaiti committees to follow up and activate the outcomes of the Kuwait Donors Conference that was held at the initiative of the State of Kuwait in the beginning of 2018. 

The Minister praised the “star”, the positions of the State of Kuwait, the government and the people, in support of Iraq, especially in the area of ​​confronting the Corona pandemic, and supporting efforts for reconstruction and achieving stability and development in all of Iraq, “noting that” the current situation that the countries of the region and the world go through requires, More cooperation to cross the crisis and overcome the economic challenges caused by lower oil prices . “

The star stressed: “The Iraqi government went on to take a series of economic measures and reforms, in the short and medium term, by activating investment and creating an attractive environment for business,” calling on “Kuwaiti companies to take advantage of available investment opportunities in many development sectors, according to economic priorities.” And the development gaps that are indicated at the level of each governorate .

For his part, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Iraq Salem Al-Zamanan welcomed the “directions of the Iraqi government to support investment and enhance fruitful cooperation relations with the State of Kuwait,” expressing “the Kuwaiti government’s willingness to provide more support to the brotherly Iraqi people, in various fields, and the desire of many

Companies to operate in Iraq.

https://www.youm7.com/story/2020/6/28/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%83%D9%88%D9%8A%D8%AA-%D9%8A%D8%AA%D9%81%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%AA%D8%B4%D9%83%D9%8A%D9%84-%D9%84%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%B4%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%83%D8%A9-%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%B9%D9%8A%D9%84-%D9%85%D8%AE%D8%B1%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%A4%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%B1/4849574

Iraqi banks are waiting for a notice to launch salaries within 24 hours

Economy

payroll

Employees

Iraq

06/20/2020 06:21:01

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Shafak News / A source in the Ministry of Finance revealed on Sunday that government banks are awaiting a notice to release the salaries for the employees of the month of June.

The source said to Shafaq News, that the banks are awaiting a notice from the ministry to enter data on electronic regulations and launch salaries for state employees.

He added that it is hoped that the notice will reach the banks to launch and pay salaries within the next 24 hours.

Yesterday, Saturday, the Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, instructed the Ministry of Finance to expel the salaries of employees.

The Iraqi government is struggling to secure employee salaries and other operating expenses due to the collapse in oil prices due to the Corona pandemic, which has paralyzed large sectors of the world economy. The country relies on revenue from the sale of crude to finance 95 percent of the country’s expenditures.

The Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi, had told the French Press Agency, on Wednesday, that the Iraqi economy may face “shocks that it will not be able to address” unless reform measures are adopted in less than a year, stressing that 40 million Iraqis will have to They are subject to a tight austerity policy that may last for “two years”.

Projections indicate that the Iraqi economy will face a 10 percent contraction during the year.

With one out of every five Iraqis receiving government aid, the bill becomes heavier for the country that depends on paying all its expenditures on oil sales revenue.

And at the beginning of this month, when pensions were deducted in the first steps of the government austerity policy, the protest was unanimous against Allawi and Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, even within the parliament that is usually mandated to approve reforms, especially the fight against corruption that led to the evaporation of more than 450 billion Dollars of public money since 2003.

https://www.shafaaq.com/ar/%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%B5%D9%80%D8%A7%D8%AF/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%81-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%B8%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AA%D8%A8-%D8%AE%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%84-24-%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A9/