Kurdistan Region delegation
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Shafaq News / The head of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s representation in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, Faris Issa revealed, on Wednesday, the latest developments in the negotiations of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s delegation with officials in the federal government and the Iraqi parliament.
Issa said, to Shafaq News Agency, that “the meetings are continuing and in a positive atmosphere, and we have confirmed that the regional government is committed to the texts listed regarding the Kurdistan Region’s share in the federal budget, and to the request of the deputies of the Finance Committee.”
And he stated that “the Finance Committee and other parties were provided with all the data, and we provided a detailed explanation about oil and non-oil imports, and we also confirmed that the financial control in the Kurdistan region is ready for all cooperation and coordination on the federal supervisory side.”
The regional government delegation arrived in Baghdad on Monday, and included Minister of Finance Awat Sheikh Janab, Minister of Planning Dara Rashid, Minister of the Region Khaled Shawani, and Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of the region Omid Sabah.
The new round of talks comes to ensure that the various parties agree to the provisions of the draft budget related to the Kurdistan Region before submitting it to a vote in Parliament. As political blocs seek to make adjustments to the budget items related to the region’s share, so that they mortgage their spending on handing over the entire oil management file to the federal government.
For his part, the deputy from the Kurdistan Democratic Bloc in the Iraqi parliament, Diyar Barwari, said, on Wednesday, that the talks had reached positive results.
Berwari explained to Shafaq News, “The Kurdistan Regional Government delegation provided the Finance Committee with real numbers and data in order to reach positive results, and include them in the General Budget Law for 2021.”
He added that “extracting a barrel of oil from the fields of the Kurdistan Region costs the government 10 dollars,” noting that “the cost of extraction and transporting the region’s oil through Turkey has not yet been decided by the budget law.”
Berwari continued, “The Parliamentary Finance Committee will present next week the final version of the draft budget law on the political blocs and members of Parliament for the purpose of voting on the law.”
According to the agreement concluded between the governments of Baghdad and Erbil and contained in the draft budget law, the region’s share is about 12.6 percent of the budget, in addition to paying the salaries of the Peshmerga, in return for handing over the region’s revenues from the sale of 250 thousand barrels per day of oil extracted from the fields of the region.
The Kurdistan Region has been suffering from a stifling financial crisis, as Baghdad has cut the salaries of the region’s employees since last April.