- Time: 02/03/2022 10:42:02
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The head of the IMF mission in Iraq, Tohir Mizorov, said in a press statement: “Policies aimed at containing inflation and its impact should take into account the fragility of recovery in Iraq and the long-term goals of diversifying the economy and strengthening the private sector. It is to avoid making the problem worse by adopting domestic policies that would increase inflation, for example through expansionary policies.”
He added, “The second priority is to implement policies that are carefully targeted to protect the most vulnerable groups. At the same time, it will be important to avoid any measures that could weaken Iraq’s economic capabilities without addressing the problem. For example, measures that undermine the competitiveness of local producers and encourage imports will not contribute to Realizing the benefits of remembering the weak groups, if they exist at all, and this explains the scarcity of countries with a fixed exchange rate to raise the value of their currency in economic history, and for the same reasons, it would not be advisable for Iraq to do so.
Mezroev pointed out that “the rise in prices leads to an erosion of the purchasing power of families’ income and savings, and since more than one-fifth of the Iraqi population lives in poverty, protecting vulnerable groups from the effects of inflation is of paramount importance. To achieve this, the 2022 budget should give priority to strengthening cash transfers directed to helping families.” the poorest during these difficult times.”
“Also, continuing to work on improving the coverage of the social protection network will contribute to ensuring assistance to those who are really in dire need of assistance,” he added.
Moreover, linking the increase in pensions, salaries of civil servants and low wages to inflation will contribute to protecting the purchasing power of their incomes and prevent them from falling into poverty. International experience has shown that such measures are the most effective in protecting the livelihoods of vulnerable groups. “.
And the House of Representatives discussed in its session last Monday, in the presence of Finance Minister Ali Allawi
The Council discussed, during its hosting by the Minister of Finance, the rise in the exchange rate of the dollar and its repercussions on the market through the rise in prices and the damage to the poor segment, and the discussion of public debt and the financial policy of the Ministry of Finance and the proposed treatments.
Allawi warned during the session that reconsidering the exchange rate of the currency “in an ill-considered manner would lead to financial chaos similar to some countries, so the trend was to set the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar comfortably to protect it from any external changes with a proactive and correct step in coordination with the Central Bank and study it with the President The government, heads of political blocs and other parties, in addition to the support of the International Monetary Fund, to change the price at a reasonable rate.
Allawi indicated that the benefits of devaluing the Iraqi dinar increased government revenues by 23 percent, pointing out that “the rise in prices in the Iraqi markets was not due to the decrease in the exchange rate of the dollar only, but rather as a result of the increase in global food prices since 2020.”
The Minister of Finance explained that “the rise in global oil prices is beneficial to Iraq and at the same time affects its needs of foodstuffs and oil derivatives, and the import of gas that is used to generate electricity by 30 percent, noting that the Iraqi external debt will be reduced by 4 billion dollars in 2021.”
Allawi suggested “supporting vulnerable segments of society by allocating a direct grant to be distributed through the ration card or social welfare and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, especially in rural areas, as a result of the financial abundance resulting from the increase in oil prices.”