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Consensus between Erbil and Baghdad on the 2021 budget


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The salaries of the Green Zone .. Parliament's finances talk about a special situation and explain the reason for their high

 

 

1,287 Economie 12/13/2020 21:08 Baghdad Today -

Baghdad Today, Sunday, a member of the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives, Jamal Cougar, explained the reason for the increase in the salaries of the employees of the Green Zone, which includes the presidencies of the Republic, ministers, representatives and many state institutions in the center of the capital, Baghdad, while he spoke about the possibility of reducing their salaries if the salaries of the rest of the employees were reduced. In an interview with (Baghdad Today), Jamal Cougar said, "The Finance Committee proposed the idea that the government should go to deduction from all employees to address the inequality in allocations between ministries, groups and institutions as a safer and safer alternative than going towards deduction from everyone." Cougar added, "Until now, we do not have statistics. Even the government also does not know the number of its employees," noting that "there is a ministry with high financial allocations such as the Ministry of Oil, as well as employees working in the Green Zone who had a special status and a high risk was placed on them." ". A member of the Finance Committee in Parliament indicated that "the options available to the government should seriously consider them before resorting to deduction from everyone." Yesterday, oil expert Hamza Al-Jawahiri expected that the monthly Iraqi oil revenues would reach nearly $ 7 billion during the coming months for two global reasons, which would pave the way for an end to the salary crisis. Al-Jawahiri said in a televised statement that "Iraq will tend to raise its oil share in conjunction with the increase in oil prices, which reached about $ 50 per barrel, which is an excellent and ideal price for Iraq." He added, "The loss of US President Donald Trump, which is considered the main reason for lowering global oil prices and the disclosure of the Corona vaccine, is one of the reasons for the rise in global prices because demand will increase." Al-Jawahiri pointed out that "the rise in global prices contributes to doubling the financial resources of Iraq and the volume of imports reached about $ 7 billion, a number sufficient to pay salaries and pay the rest of the basic expenses." Earlier, Riyad Al-Masoudi, the deputy of the Saeron Alliance, pledged the distribution of salaries for the month of January and February, with one condition being met. "There is a direct link between passing the 2021 budget and distributing salaries, as it cannot be spent without a budget, and Iraq needs 4-5 trillion dinars per month to secure salaries," Al-Masoudi said in a televised interview. He added that "approving the budget means approval of the House of Representatives with new borrowings, the amounts currently available as resources are not sufficient to pay salaries regularly, at least in the first six months of next year."

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Tomorrow ... the Council of Ministers votes on the 2021 budget

 
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The Parliamentary Finance Committee revealed, on Monday, that the government will go during the cabinet session tomorrow, Tuesday, to vote on the draft federal budget law for 2021.

A representative source within the committee said in a statement to "the information", that "the cabinet will vote tomorrow during its regular session on the draft federal budget law for 2021," noting that "the cabinet will direct to send the draft law to parliament tomorrow."

He added that "the expected deficit in the budget reaches 40% of its size in general," indicating that "the budget will include more than 250 thousand degrees of employment within the movement of deletion and creation."

The deputy of the Al-Fateh Alliance, Abbas Yaber, revealed, on the day before yesterday, Saturday, a new parliamentary intention to host Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi in the House of Representatives to discuss the reasons for delaying the sending of the draft federal budget law for 2021.

The Parliamentary Economic and Investment Committee confirmed, last Wednesday, that the approval of the draft federal budget law for 2021 within the House of Representatives will need two months. Ended 25 T

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Parliamentary Finance: The 2021 budget will secure the salaries of employees for a full year

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The Parliamentary Finance Committee announced, on Monday, that employees' salaries will be secured for the next year in 2021.

Committee member Jamal Cougar said in an interview with Al-Asbah newspaper and followed by Al-Eqtisad News, that "the general budget for 2021 will secure all employees' salaries within a whole year," noting that "there are three issues that delayed voting on the budget law and sending it to Parliament, the first percentage of deficit." Big and work to reduce them. "

He added that "the second issue is waiting for an agreement between Baghdad and Erbil on financial dues and revenue delivery by the region," noting that "the third issue is political consensus on the budget law to ensure its passage in parliament.

The Parliamentary Finance Committee confirmed, earlier, its intention to include more than 250,000 job degrees in the next year's budget, while indicating that the budget will include dues for Resolution 315.

 

Number of observations 181   Date added: 12/14/2020

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Financial Management Law No. (6) of 2019, in Article (11), obliges the Iraqi government to submit the draft federal budget law to the House of Representatives no later than mid-October of each year in order to give the legislative and supervisory authority sufficient opportunity to study, debate, amend and approve The budget before the end of the fiscal year.

In view of the political, economic and health developments, the draft budget law for 2021 in the Council of Ministers is still awaiting discussion and approval as a result of government promises to include a broad package of financial reforms that would ensure coexistence with the sharp decline in oil revenues by maximizing non-oil revenues and controlling and rationalizing public expenditures. The current financial crisis provides exceptional pressure to implant specific reform policies, which have been carried over over the past years, in the strength of the federal budget to ensure its enforced implementation by law.

In this context, it is possible to propose a set of paragraphs that should be included in the 2021 budget, taking into account the need for parliamentary and judicial oversight provisions to ensure the implementation of all budget paragraphs and to prevent the repetition of what happened in the budgets of previous years of explicit government disclaimer in the implementation of some paragraphs of the federal budget, with weakness Dangerous in monitoring violations and holding those responsible accountable, mostly for political considerations.

1- Reconsidering the philosophy of the country's general budget and converting it from a numerical sequence to numbers corresponding to clear development goals with economic, social and political outcomes and returns, and working for the 2021 budget to be a budget for projects and performance to tighten control and auditing, while striving to provide profit and loss accounts and final accounts starting from one year 2020.

2- The necessity to prepare a foreign currency budget, issued as an attachment to the general budget, and monitored monthly to control the stability of the balance of payments. In contrast, the continued excess of the private sector’s demand for foreign currency and the government's payments abroad for its imports and other obligations, due to the achieved oil revenues, will rapidly deplete the central bank’s reserves and endanger monetary stability.

3- Commitment to determine the Kurdistan Region’s share of total actual spending (current expenditures and investment project expenditures) after excluding the sovereign expenditures specified in the Federal Budget Law on the condition that the Kurdistan Region must pay the oil exported from the region and in the quantities determined by the Iraqi Oil Marketing Company (SOMO), as well as Non-oil revenues, under the supervision of the Federal Office of Financial Supervision. In contrast, the region’s share should be frozen in order not to repeat the scenario of previous years, especially the years 2019 and 2020, when the region received its full share in 2019 and nearly 2.4 trillion in 2020 in exchange for promises to deliver oil and engage in talks with Baghdad intended to procrastinate and buy time, nothing more.

4- The Council of Ministers shall accelerate the conclusion of sober contracts for the purpose of automating the tax and customs system and import licenses, linking all units subject to tax and customs to an electronic system, and collecting customs duties for imported goods on the basis of what was sold of foreign currency through the window of sale of currency or documentary credits to importers of goods on the basis of That the differences are settled after entering the imported goods and audited by the concerned authorities. With the importance of canceling all customs and tax exemptions and exceptions granted to countries and government institutions.

5- The Ministries of (Electricity, Construction and Housing) and the Municipality of Baghdad must activate the collection of electricity, water and sewage wages and all other fees stipulated in their own laws for the services provided by them for the purpose of increasing their own resources. Citizens can be obligated to pay by stopping the promotion of all citizens ’transactions in all state departments without the beneficiary presenting recent collection bills.

6- To control the file of double payroll and space workers in various ministries and government institutions, all government agencies should be obligated to adopt the multi-biometric (electronic) fingerprint during the implementation of the financial movements of the beneficiaries of salaries and grants of all kinds in coordination between the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and the Office of Financial Supervision to check the number of employees for the purpose of intersecting data and information Centrally.

7 - The Media and Communications Commission must oblige the mobile phone companies and Internet processing companies to pay their sums, fines and financial obligations within (90) days of the approval of the Federal Budget Law and record state revenues. In the event that these companies fail to pay their financial obligations and taxes to the Ministry of Finance within the specified time, the Media and Communications Commission will stop the frequency spectrum of these companies.

8- The importance of all centrally funded formations affiliated to a ministry or an entity not associated with a ministry to transfer its revenues obtained according to its laws and regulations in force as a final revenue to the state's public treasury for the purpose of enabling the Accounting Department to finance the federal budget estimates. The annual report of the Office of Financial Supervision for 2019 data revealed that many public companies failed to pay the public treasury's share of the profits achieved, which amounted to about (2,301) trillion dinars, owing to (22) companies representing ten Iraqi ministries. This indicates the federal government's inability to collect the treasury funds despite the financial hardship the country is going through (Bureau of Financial Supervision, 2019: 174).

9- Forming specialized committees to follow up on Iraq's money smuggled abroad, which is estimated at between (100-150) billion dollars, according to the statement of the Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi on November 4, and recovering them through diplomatic and judicial means.

10- The Ministry of Finance should make the necessary adjustments between the profits owed by the petroleum products distribution company with the debts owed by ministries and entities not associated with a ministry to the petroleum products distribution company. According to the annual report of the Office of Financial Supervision for the year 2019 data, the total amounts payable from the General Company for the Distribution of Petroleum Products to the State Treasury amounted to approximately (1.857) trillion Iraqi dinars for the year 2019 only. (Bureau of Financial Supervision, 2019: 174).

11- The financial allocations directed to the various formations affiliated with the ministries and independent bodies should be reconsidered due to the failure of some of these formations to exploit the annual financial allocations allocated to them from the Ministry of Finance, which indicates the lack of adoption of scientific principles in monitoring these allocations, which leads to the non-benefit of other parties. With the need to prevent the exploitation of the allocations belonging to the formations of the ministries and independent bodies by the ministries' offices, contrary to the instructions for the implementation of the federal general budget. (Bureau of Financial Supervision, 2019: 174).

12- Reforming the retirement fund by gradually stopping its financing from the budget, limiting payment to the retirement fund, while preserving the state’s contribution, reviewing that contribution, and amending the law accordingly. With the need to review pension salaries and grant them to those who have performed actual service in state institutions and departments in accordance with the laws and legislation in force. And not to disburse pensions to any employee of the state and public sector, including senior officials of the three presidencies, except after clearance of movable and immovable state property and with retroactive effect, provided that the Federal Office of Financial Supervision submits a report to the House of Representatives no later than the end of the first quarter of 2020.

13- An inventory of state property and a detailed database on it, then classified by a higher committee in the prime minister (formed for this purpose) on the basis of the current possibility of disposing of it, whether by sale, rent, investment, and others. There are specialized committees in the Real Estate Registration Department that set estimated prices for lands and real estate that can be used to set specific estimated prices with a lower and higher ceiling that will be a good and transparent indicator when the auction is opened to sell or rent real estate. The auction can be started after two months of the formation of the committees, and funds are raised for the state budget, provided that the sale or lease operations are extended for several years to represent a sustainable source of financing over the medium term (5) years, for example.

14- Withholding the ration card for some segments, including senior state employees, merchants and contractors. In addition to creating a class differentiation in the amounts of payment, so it is greater for those below the poverty line, less for the middle classes, and zero for the high income class, according to accurate data in the field of targeting. The ration card payment cards can be combined with other payment cards, especially those related to social welfare, retirees, or even employees, according to systems prepared for this purpose. (Al-Anbaki, 2020: 4)

15- Activating the leave with a nominal salary for a period of (5) years and be without pay for what exceeded (5) years for all public sector employees, provided that it is counted for retirement purposes, and the employee has the right to work in the private sector, as an exception from the State Employees Discipline Law No. (14) of 1991 amended.

16- Suspension of appointments in all government ministries and institutions, especially the three presidencies (Parliament, Presidency of the Republic, General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and the Office of the Prime Minister) and the departments and departments affiliated to it, and it is not permissible to transfer services or assign them to them from ministries while returning all employees of the ministries to their original departments .

17 - It is not permissible for the Council of Ministers to issue any decisions that include granting an advance to any ministry or entity not associated with a ministry without allocations in the general budget approved during the fiscal year 2021. With the importance of expanding work according to the rule of non-allocation of public revenues and directing all public revenues to the public treasury. This is what requires the Iraqi legislator not to allocate a specific revenue to a party in advance. (Al-Anzi, 6: 2020)

18- The need to prepare detailed reports and tables on internal and external indebtedness, government deposits, corporate deposits, funds, tax policies, projected revenues, targeted containers, customs duties, border crossings, state property returns, the treasury’s share of the profits of public companies, the Iraqi Fund for External Development and Free Zones, the number of retirees and according to categories, and it shall be attached to the General Budget Law Federal.

19- Enhancing the presentation of the general budget (without prejudice to the government accounting system in which it is prepared) with analytical statements, which decision-making centers in the executive and legislative branches can understand and stand on the facts, phenomena and information that help them in taking appropriate directions and decisions, and these statements also provide important information bases for all specialists And those concerned in addition to the media, civil society organizations, professional organizations and the business environment, in addition to the public in general (Al-Alaq: 6).

20- Reconsidering the methodology and mechanisms for supporting strategic commodities such as wheat, barley and others due to the high costs and poor utilization of them, as well as importing huge quantities of these commodities through the Kurdistan Region outlets from neighboring countries and reselling them to the government as a national product to take advantage of the price difference.

21- Conducting a detailed review of the salaries of the workforce in the public sector, implementing deeper reforms in human resources management, and trying to legislate a job ladder based on justice and guaranteeing incentives and raising the productivity of employees in the public sector.

22- Fiscal policy efforts in Iraq should be focused on searching for greater opportunities for non-oil resources that make the non-oil main balance measure NOPD an objective of strengthening and the required financial adaptations at the level of controlling and controlling public expenditures and maximizing non-oil revenues.

* Researcher at the Al Furat Center for Development and Strategic Studies / 2004-2020
www.fcdrs.com

 
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Kurdistan Region agrees to Baghdad's terms; awaits its response

“We will remain here until we reach an agreement.” 

 Hiwa Shilani   December 14th 2020   23:12
      
Qubad Talabani, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Azhi Omer) Qubad Talabani, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Azhi Omer)
 
 

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The head of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) delegation to Baghdad, Qubad Talabani, announced on Monday that the Kurdish side is waiting for a response from Baghdad, after it agreed to the provisions of the "budget deficit" law that the Iraqi parliament approved—despite the absence of representatives from the Kurdistan Region.

"We have been in Baghdad since last Wednesday in order to implement the budget deficit law, which was issued in the Iraqi parliament without the participation of the Kurdish political parties," Qubad Talabani, deputy head of the regional government, stated in a press conference.

Last month, the Iraqi parliament approved a budget deficit law in the absence of representatives from the Kurdistan Region, who boycotted the session over disagreements about a clause in the new law that Kurdish lawmakers described as “unfair” in allocating the share of the autonomous region in the federal budget.

 

"Despite our observations on this law, we came to Baghdad in order to implement this law, and we held many meetings with government officials and negotiated with official, party, and influential figures in Baghdad," Talabani explained in Monday’s press conference.

The controversial law stipulates handing over the region's oil and non-oil revenues to the federal government. Talabani indicated that the regional government was ready to abide by this condition, as he added, "We are awaiting Baghdad's decision in this regard and how much the share of the Kurdistan Region will be in the budget, after we agree to the condition."

"We have heard many words about the failure of negotiations with Baghdad,” Talabani said. But “we tell [people saying such things] that the negotiations have not failed. They are continuing, and we are here in Baghdad.”

“We will remain here until we reach an agreement,” Talabani affirmed.

“Any share that will be agreed upon for the region is not a gift to the people of Kurdistan,” he stated, “but rather their constitutional share from the general Iraqi budget. We do not expect others to give charity to us, but rather our rights."

Talabani also noted that "the political atmosphere in Iraq at the present time is complicated, as we go towards elections, so there are pressures on the political parties.”

He called on all sides "to have patience,” adding, “We are here in Baghdad to obtain the rights of the Kurdistan Region, especially the right of those with [government] salaries in the region, and I am confident that we will reach a positive result."

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