The Central Bank warns against dealing in the “Libyan dollar”
Monday – 6 Dhu al-Hijjah 1441 AH – 27 July 2020 AD Issue number 
Baghdad: Fadel Al-Nashmi
Despite the continuing assurances by the Iraqi authorities about their intention to pay the salaries of employees in the public sector for the current month, this did not dispel many fears that the government might postpone this until the period after the Eid Al-Adha holiday that falls at the end of this July, and enhance feelings This fear is delaying the due payment date by about two weeks, as happened in the past three months in light of the ongoing financial crisis that the Iraqi authorities complain of as a result of low oil prices and other factors, some of which are linked to the Corona pandemic.
The difficulties and fears experienced by the employees of the Kurdistan region are no less than those of their Arab counterparts, and sometimes even increase, due to the delay in the payment of salaries for many months and deduction of large proportions from them. The Kurdish journalist Saman Noah, through his personal blog on Facebook, says: “Employees are at a loss and a shortage, struggling without pay as the holiday falls. Perhaps they will spend their salaries for the month of March after 30 days, with 20% or 30% deducted from them, and they may not. Nobody knows, officials say with all responsibility ?! ” And he adds: “Market movement is stagnant in the holiday season, job opportunities are weak, unemployment is rising, and entire sectors are idle, such as tourism and services, closed shops and bankruptcy companies.”
Despite the directives issued by the Minister of Finance Ali Abdul Amir Allawi to pay the salaries of the employees and the announcement of the “Rafidain Bank” to start distributing “the salaries of the employees of the ministries and state institutions from whom the financing of their salaries and financial allocation instruments have arrived at the bank”, the Parliamentary Finance Committee announced yesterday, its intention to host the Minister of Finance During the current week, to discuss the reasons for delaying the distribution of salaries of employees and retirees and not to send the budget for 2020. The committee’s rapporteur, Ahmed Al-Saffar, said in statements yesterday that «the committee is trying to open communication channels with the Ministry of Finance, but the latter does not respond seriously to the committee to discuss many financial files ». He pointed out that «the committee will discuss with the Minister of Finance, the undersecretary and the director general of the Accounting Department via a television circle the reasons for these delays, as well as discussing the conditions of free lecturers’ salaries and contracts, as well as other outstanding financial files ». He added:
Last June, the Finance Minister said: “If we do not adjust matters during this year, we may face shocks that we will not be able to deal with.” He warned that “40 million Iraqis will have to submit to a tightening austerity policy that could last for two years.”
Despite the Iraqi parliament’s vote at the end of last month on the draft of the internal and external borrowing law to finance the fiscal deficit for the year 2020, economic analysts believe that the issue of the financial difficulties that the government faces in securing the salaries of employees and the rest of the financial expenditures will continue for the coming months, mainly due to the decline in the country’s revenues derived from oil rents .
In turn, member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Jamal Cougar, confirmed yesterday that the government has the necessary liquidity to pay salaries. “The government cannot back down or lie in the covenants it made,” Cougar said in comments. Including the salaries of employees before Eid al-Adha. The government secured employees’ salaries for 3 months through internal borrowing. He said, “The salaries of the month of July will be released during this week, as the government promised, without delay, as happened in the past two months.”
In another financial matter, the Central Bank of Iraq issued a statement yesterday about what is being circulated on the “Libyan dollar”.
The bank said in a statement that it «monitors what is going on in the media and social communication regarding news about dealing with what is known as (the Libyan dollar currency) and here we would like to make it clear that there is no such currency, and that the procedures to verify its absence have been done by exchanging information with the devices Concerned inside and outside Iraq.
The Central Bank noted that “any party or company that claims to sell this currency by promoting through its pages on social media and the public’s delusion that there is an American dollar belonging to the Libyan Central Bank is not authorized by this bank, and we warn against fraud and fraud that may be practiced by the weak in the soul in this field”. And speculators in the currency market have appeared in the past weeks on social media platforms and they are announcing their desire to sell 10,000 Libyan dollars, which are said to be from the assets of frozen Libyan banks, at 6 thousand dollars.