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Iraq cabinet approves 78.8-billion-dollar budget

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BAGHDAD, Dec 01, 2010 (AFP) - Iraq's cabinet on Wednesday approved a 78.8-billion-dollar budget for 2011 with a projected deficit of 12.1 billion dollars, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said.

The budget is based on an oil price of 73 dollars a barrel, with exports expected to total 2.25 million barrels of oil per day (mbpd), bringing in a total projected income of 66.7 billion dollars in 2011 with oil accounting for the lion's share.

"The deficit will be covered by previous surpluses," Dabbagh said in an e-mailed statement.

"Out of this budget, there is 28.95 trillion dinars (24.5 billion dollars) allocated for capital investment," with the remainder being spent on public sector activity such as wages of government workers and pensions, he added.

While Iraq's projected oil price currently looks to be a conservative estimate -- prices currently stand at 85.48 dollars in New York and only three of the first 10 months of 2010 saw average prices slip below 73 dollars a barrel -- its expected exports are more ambitious.

Iraq has not exported 2.25 mbpd of oil since the 2003 US-led invasion ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, with the highest level thus far being 2.069 mbpd last February.

Oil revenues account for nearly 90 percent of Iraqi government income.

aa/psr/hc

© Copyright AFP 2010.

here's the link... http://www.zawya.com/Story.cfm/sidANA20101201T140823ZGWL29/Iraq%20Cabinet%20Approves%20$78.8B%20Budget

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