1,323 Policy 09/29/2020 08:54 amm
Baghdad Today – Baghdad
A member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Ahmed Al-Saffar, on Tuesday (9/29/2020), expressed his surprise at the depletion of the internal loan funds that were intended to cover employee salaries and other obligations for a period of five months, in only 3 months.
Al-Saffar said in an interview with (Baghdad Today), that “last June, we approved in Parliament the internal and external borrowing law, as we voted to grant the government the authority to borrow an amount of $ 5 billion externally in order to move the stalled investment projects.”
He added that “Parliament has also approved granting the government the power to borrow internally at a rate of 15 trillion dinars to secure salaries and other necessary obligations in the operating budget,” indicating that “the state’s oil and non-oil revenues amount to 4 trillion dinars per month, and government expenditures amount to 7 trillion, meaning that the government needs To 3 trillion a month to fill the financial shortfall. ”
And that “internal borrowing was supposed to cover the expenses of the operational budget for a period of 5 months until the end of October 2020, but now we are surprised how the amount of 15 trillion Iraqi dinars was implemented in only three months,” stressing the need for the Ministry of Finance to clarify He revealed the tunnels for the past three months. ”
He stressed that “the current borrowing law does not allow the government to borrow again unless the reform paper is submitted, or the draft federal budget bill for the country for the year 2020, which was withdrawn one day after its arrival in the House of Representatives, was submitted.”
He explained that “the ministry is late in paying the salaries of employees, and it is the one who bears the defect, which may continue in the coming months.”
Today, Monday (September 28, 2020), the Parliamentary Finance Committee considered that the crisis of securing the salaries of employees and retirees will be present in the coming months, as a result of stalled economic reforms and a lack of financial resources, while it indicated that Parliament has no choice but to proceed with the borrowing law submitted by the Ministry of Finance To secure salaries for the coming months.
A member of the committee, Jamal Cougar, said, in an interview with him (Baghdad Today), that “the government is responsible for providing the salaries of employees, and therefore it must intensify its efforts through the competent government institutions in order to overcome this crisis.”
He added that “cash liquidity is scarce, oil and non-oil resources are insufficient to pay the salaries of employees, and continuous borrowing is not the solution either, nor is it difficult to carry out reforms, so the crisis will continue in the coming months and possibly until the next year 2021.”
For his part, a member of the same committee, Ahmed al-Jubouri, commented on the domestic borrowing financing project sent by the Ministry of Finance, stating that it is “the only option before Parliament.”
Al-Jubouri told (Baghdad Today), today, Monday, “We entered the tenth month of 2020, and its budget is still not ready, and incomplete, and this is illegal.”
And that “the financial borrowing requested by the financial system, to pay the salaries of the coming months, is a must, whether we like it or not,” stressing that “the parliament has no choice but to proceed with a vote on borrowing.”
And he added, “I do not think that the political blocs have complete conviction in voting on the borrowing law, but the Iraqi state (without strength or power), and they have no choice but to agree to borrow.”
He pointed out that “the salaries of the current month of September are insured, and there is no problem, and they will be released within two or three days, but the problem is all in the remaining months of the current year.”
Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Finance issued a statement regarding the provision of salaries for employees and their delays, while affirming its commitment to work to secure the salaries of employees and retirees and social care.
The ministry said in its statement, which it received (Baghdad Today), a copy of it that it “assures the honorable citizens that it is working diligently to ensure that all government obligations are fulfilled at their specified times, and on top of those obligations are the salaries of state employees, retirees and social welfare.”
The statement added: “It is no secret to the Iraqi public opinion that the ministry is making these efforts under exceptional circumstances and a financial crisis beyond the control of the government, represented by the sharp decline in oil imports, the Corona pandemic and its domestic and international effects, in a manner that exacerbated the shortage of liquidity available to the state, especially with the expansion Unplanned numbers of employees over the past year. ”
He continued: “To address this lack of financial liquidity, the Iraqi government sought to obtain parliamentary legislation that would enable it to borrow internally and externally, and the funds available through internal borrowing amounting to 15 trillion Iraqi dinars were used until the end of last month to finance salaries and meet other basic expenses, especially what It relates to health and security, while international loans are used to finance development projects. ”
The statement indicated that “the Ministry of Finance is currently preparing a detailed road map to finance basic expenditures for the remaining three months of the current year. We will present it soon to the esteemed parliament, and this plan will include increasing the ministry’s ability to borrow internally, and once approved, it will enable us to start.” By fully securing government salaries. ”
He explained that “the ministry is preparing for the 2021 budget project in a manner that addresses the accumulated financial and economic challenges that burden the country,” noting that “the circumstances the country is currently going through stress the urgent need for political and societal forces to join together, and to work together responsibly to achieve security and stability.” And moving Iraq towards what its patient people deserve in terms of prosperity and development. ”