Initiatives agree to Kurdistan’s share of the Iraqi budget

Thursday – 7 Rajab 1442 AH – February 18, 2021 AD Issue No. [15423]

A side of one of the previous meetings between the delegation of the Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government in Baghdad (Rudaw)

Erbil: «Asharq Al-Awsat»

After marathon negotiations between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government in Baghdad regarding the region’s share of the federal budget for 2021. An informed source said yesterday (Wednesday) that there is near agreement between the regional government delegation and the Finance Committee, on a formula close to the text of the draft federal budget law for the year 2021. 2021 with some minor changes.

The source added that some political blocs are trying to obstruct the agreement, with the aim of using the file as an electoral political card to win the street in central and southern Iraq.

Samir Hawrami, spokesman for the deputy prime minister of the Kurdistan region and head of the negotiating delegation, Qubad Talabani, confirmed to “Al-Sharq al-Awsat” that “there are signs of approaching a consensual formula close to the text of the draft budget law that was agreed upon between the regional government and the federal government,” indicating that Talabani “Continuing in the consultative meetings and meetings with the political blocs and personalities to reach a compromise formula that satisfies all parties, in accordance with the constitutional requirements.”

In turn, a source familiar with the details of the negotiations’ progress told Asharq Al-Awsat that there is an understanding “of the region’s commitment to deliver 250,000 barrels of oil per day at the price of the SOMO company, provided that the regional government will market it, in addition to 50 percent of the imports of the border crossings. », Indicating that« there are political parties working to delay and procrastinate in reaching an agreement, with the aim of sending the draft law to the House of Representatives without prior agreement, and this is discussed in the Parliament session and turning the issue into a political bid and an electoral winning card.

The source, who refused to be named, stated that «some political blocs, Shi’ites in particular, have succeeded in making the region’s hostilities a profitable electoral card in the Iraqi street, which is evident through selectivity and spreading misconceptions about the region’s share in the budget and its unfairness in The media”.

In turn, Masoud Haider, an advisor to the President of the Democratic Party, Massoud Barzani, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “there is already a consensus formula between the regional government and the federal government, which stipulates the region’s commitment to deliver 250,000 barrels of oil per day, in addition to 50 percent of the ports’ imports. Borders, and this formula of agreement is supposed to be final, as the federal government has included it in the draft budget law that falls within its responsibilities and constitutional jurisdiction, ”indicating that“ some parties have governed this issue and included it within the framework of political negotiation, and the regional government in turn has shown flexibility in this matter, I contacted most of the political blocs in the hope of reaching an agreement that would satisfy the two parties, and be an opportunity to bridge the gap in viewpoints to resolve the remaining outstanding issues between the region and Baghdad, including the enactment of the oil and gas law to avoid a recurrence of such a problem in the future.

Regarding the possibility of passing the budget law, Haidar said: “There are political blocs that understand the need to reach consensual formulas regarding this issue, and we hope that the Shiite brothers will understand the seriousness of the stage that Iraq is going through in general, and that the law will be passed in a manner that preserves the people of the Kurdistan region of their constitutional rights.” .

Regarding the guarantees of Baghdad’s commitment to the agreement’s wording after its passage, Haider said: “We hope that all individuals will abide by the provisions of the agreement in accordance with the provisions of the law, and that what happened in 2014, when the Baghdad government refused to pay citizens’ dues, according to the budget law, due to political differences.”

It is noteworthy that the Parliamentary Finance Committee prefers to submit the budget bill to a vote in Parliament, next week. The committee reduced the size of the budget from 164 trillion dinars to about 127.5 trillion dinars, and raised the estimated price for a barrel of oil from 42 to 45 dollars a barrel.

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