Kurdistan Democratic Bloc
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Shafaq News / The Kurdistan Democratic Party bloc revealed, on Monday, the allocation of 15 billion dinars to Halabja as part of the budget law, which confirmed that the agreement between Baghdad and Erbil regarding the project has not collapsed.
The deputy head of the parliamentary party bloc, Bashar al-Kiki, told Shafaq News that the original agreement was based on the proposal of the Shiite blocs, and the regional government delegation accepted it and was approved by the Parliamentary Finance Committee by vote, but an amendment occurred in two paragraphs during the printing of the decision, contrary to what was voted on. .
“We consider this amendment as a violation of the agreement between the two sides first, and a slight retreat by the Shiite blocs, secondly,” he added.
“The presidency of the Council and the heads of the Shiite blocs assured the Kurdish delegation during congratulations on Nowruz in the office of the Vice President of the Council, that the amendment that took place in some paragraphs and the wording will not affect the origin of the agreement between the two sides and can be dealt with without any difficulties.”
Al-Kiki stressed that “legally, the Parliamentary Finance Committee adheres to the text of Article 11 voted upon and will be presented as it is without modification, indicating that the aim is to postpone the budget voting session to reach a Shiite consensus on a number of contentious issues between them.”
Al-Kiki revealed that the Finance Committee approved an amount of 15 billion dinars for Halabja Governorate from transfers at the request of the Kurdish representatives, pointing out that the Kurdish forces have repeatedly demanded that the rights and entitlements of Halabja victims be included in the budget in accordance with the law amending the Rafha and Halabja Victims Law of 2003, but it has not been decided upon. From the Financial Commission for no reason.
He praised the decision of the House of Representatives, which stressed the need to complete and accelerate the procedures for converting Halabja into a governorate.
The Iraqi parliament had failed to vote on the federal budget bill for 2021, following the continuing disagreements over some items.
The budget allocations are estimated at 130 trillion Iraqi dinars (about $ 89.6 billion).
Article 11 of the draft budget relates to the share of the Kurdistan Region, and stipulates that it will deliver 250 thousand barrels of oil per day, with tax revenues to Baghdad, in return for receiving 12.6 percent of the budget.
However, some political blocs are demanding that the article be amended to include a text that holds anyone who decides to spend these funds to the region legally responsible if their oil is not delivered to the federal government.
Political blocs also reject what was stipulated in the budget to exclude a segment of citizens whose monthly salaries exceed 1.5 million dinars (about $ 1030) from benefiting from the ration card, which is a program for the distribution of food rations to the population that has been followed since the imposition of the blockade on the country in the 1990s.
And other blocs refuse to vote on the budget if the exchange rate of the dinar against the dollar is not modified, by returning it to its normal state of 1168 thousand dinars per ($ 100) instead of 1450 per ($ 100).
Iraq relies on oil sales revenues to finance about 95 percent of state expenditures, and is suffering from a stifling financial crisis, as a result of the decline in crude prices under pressure from the Corona pandemic.