Iraqi News

Wednesday Evening Iraq Economic News Highlights 1-4-23

Government Movement To Complete The Requirements For Iraq’s Accession To The World Trade Organization

Money and business    Economy News – Baghdad   On Wednesday, the Ministry of Commerce detailed its plan to complete the requirements for Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization.

The media center in the ministry stated to the official news agency, “The committee concerned with Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization, headed by the Minister of Commerce and membership of representatives of ministries and agencies as well as representatives from the private sector, is working to complete the requirements for Iraq’s accession to the organization.”

He explained, “The ministry’s plan during the current year includes completing technical accession files in terms of goods, services and intellectual property, in addition to harmonizing legislation and laws with the agreements of the multilateral organization.”

He pointed out that “the plan includes holding official meetings in the organization in Geneva, and that there be high coordination with the member states that carry economic weight in the organization to mobilize support and speed up accession procedures and make Iraq an active member and partner in making economic decisions and drawing trade policies that enhance Iraq’s integration into the International Economy”.

He pointed out that “the Minister of Trade confirmed – within the prepared plan – the preparation of the Iraqi negotiating team, which will engage in negotiating rounds with the member states of the organization by strengthening the negotiating capabilities of the members and benefiting from the experiences of the countries.”  Views 27  Added 01/04/2023 – 3:56 PM Updated 01/04/2023 – 4:37 PM

The Ministry Of Finance Is Working To Reduce Operating Expenses And Make A Final Adjustment To The Budget

2023-01-04 05:58   Shafaq News/ An informed source in the Iraqi Council of Ministers stated, on Wednesday, that the Federal Ministry of Finance is working to reduce operating expenses in the draft of the general budget bill for the current year.

The source told Shafaq News agency that the Ministry of Finance has completed the draft general budget law for the year 2023 by 90%, adding that the final draft of the budget law will reach the Council of Ministers after adding the financial allocation for lecturers and contracts in ministries and state institutions who have fixed permanent staffing.

He explained that the total amount of the budget law amounted to 180 trillion dinars, with a deficit rate of 40 trillion dinars, indicating that the price of one barrel of oil was calculated at 65 dollars, while the exchange rate of one dollar was calculated at 1450 dinars.

The source went on to say that the Ministry of Finance is currently working to reduce operating expenses and make a final amendment to the budget law before sending the final draft of the law to the Council of Ministers, pointing out that the Ministry of Finance will send the budget to the government next week.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani announced an increase in the amount of salaries in the general budget for the year 2023, realizing that the draft law needs a lot of time.

“The amount of salaries in the budget increased from 41 to 62 trillion dinars,” Al-Sudani said, in a press conference attended by Shafaq News Agency’s correspondent, explaining that “the budget needs a lot of time” in order to be approved.

And Finance Minister Taif Sami had revealed, at the end of last year 2022, that “the general budget will focus primarily on the health sector, supporting hospitals, reducing the conduct of operations abroad, supporting vulnerable classes, social care, and people with disabilities, and raising the loan capital ceiling for small projects in Ministry of Labor”.

She added, “The price of a barrel of oil, which has been set so far in the general budget, amounted to 65 dollars, and it may reach 70 dollars, and it has not yet set the total amount of the budget, while the dollar exchange rate has been fixed at 1450.”

And the Minister of Finance indicated that “the draft general budget law may include a study to impose some taxes on the oil derivatives sector, if approved by the House of Representatives, which would enhance revenues.”

It is noteworthy that the financial budget for the past year 2022 was not approved by the Council of Ministers and the House of Representatives due to the turmoil that Iraq witnessed after the early elections in October 2021, which escalated to dangerous levels that ended with the events of the Green Zone, with armed confrontations between supporters of the Sadrist movement and the security forces, which claimed lives. Dozens and hundreds injured.

After the end of the crisis, with the agreement of the political blocs to elect the President of the Republic and to grant confidence to the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’a al-Sudani, the latter pledged that he would present the draft federal budget law for the year 2023 as soon as possible. LINK

Parliamentary Finance: Amendments To The 2023 Budget And The Completion Of Its Investment And Operational Draft

A member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee revealed amendments to the draft federal budget law for the year 2023.

Committee member Mueen Al-Kazemi said in a televised statement this evening: “The Economic Ministerial Council made amendments to the budget in its last meeting, and the Cabinet will approve them in the coming sessions.”

And he indicated that “the Ministries of Planning and Finance have completed the draft budget, with its investment and operational parts, and it is assumed that the government will hand over the draft budget to Parliament after the end of its legislative recess on January 8th.”

Al-Kazemi explained, “The consensus between the political forces and the visit of the Kurdish delegations to Baghdad resolved many differences, and the blocs have a desire to approve the budget to start work and complete projects in a way that reflects on the service of citizens.”

And he continued, “We hope that the blocs will cooperate in a way that leads to approving the budget in the middle of next February, so that the government will start at the beginning of March to complete projects and start others.”

Al-Kadhimi stressed, “The political consensus will have a role in accelerating the budget legislation, and we hope through it to implement the government program presented by the Prime Minister.”

New Movements In The Budget File After A Period Of Stagnation

01-04-2023 | 06:29     Source:  Sumerian   The street is waiting, moment by moment, to vote on the country’s draft general budget law in order to proceed with many stalled matters, most notably service projects. Responsible sources confirmed that the budget is just around the corner from being sent to parliament.

New movements are taking place in the budget file after a long stagnation, most notably the Ministerial Council’s discussion of the draft law, which will focus on developing the economy and services in various sectors in order to achieve the basic points included in the ministerial curriculum, In addition to other strategic axes such as health, education, industry, agriculture and all aspects of service, not to mention About those related to investment plans and spending chapters.

Regarding the negotiations, members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party revealed a near agreement between the central government and the region regarding the share of the Kurdish component, which will reach fourteen percent during the delegation’s recent visit to the capital.

As for the members of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, they confirmed that the budget for the year two thousand and twenty-three will be the same as its predecessors, ruling out any real change to the draft project that is to be voted on by the federal government. government and sent to Parliament for approval within days, indicating that the Ministry of Finance calculated the price of a barrel of oil at sixty-five dollars, and that the total amount of the law may exceed one hundred and forty trillion dinars.

The Minister of Finance had previously announced that the budget would focus primarily on the health sector, support for vulnerable classes, social care and people with disabilities, and raise the loan capital ceiling for small projects in the Ministry of Labor.   LINK

Parliamentary Speculation: Operational Costs In The Budget Will Reach 90 Trillion Dinars

Iraq 01/04/2023   Baghdad: Shaima Rashid  Parliament’s estimate of operational costs in the 2023 federal budget summarizes much of the explanation for an upcoming scene if global oil prices drop. Three previous governments have undertaken to add no less than 20 trillion dinars of financial burdens as salaries only, without clear reforms in the administrative structure in the public office. .

The Parliamentary Finance Committee estimated that the government will need about 70 trillion dinars in the future to pay the salaries of employees from the operating budget.

Committee member Jamal Cougar said, in an interview with “Al-Sabah”: “Parliament is ignorant of the reason for the delay in transmitting the draft budget law from the Council of Ministers, although Parliament will end its legislative recess next week,” reassuring the employees that “there is no fear for salaries and it will not be delayed, but it will proceed according to the principle of the exchange rule 1 on 12.”

Cougar added, “The government can resort to the bank reserve as an advance to release the salaries of employees, provided that these amounts are added to the salary tabs after referring the draft budget to Parliament.”

Regarding the increase in the number of employees, Cougar explained that “the citizen has the right to the government to provide job opportunities, and to clarify, the salaries of employees cost the budget a large number, as in the year 2021 it reached about 54 dinars, so that the Al-Kazemi government will add about 10 trillion dinars, and today the government will add the new Sudanese between 7 and 10 trillion dinars, meaning that the salaries of employees alone will be around seventy trillion dinars.

According to the deputy, Iraq will “need annually seventy trillion only to pay salaries, while the operational budget, which is the salaries and expenses of the entire government, will reach 85 to 90 trillion dinars.”

Member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Representative Mahma Khalil, touched on the conditions of the political agreement between the Kurdish blocs and their counterparts in Baghdad, and indicated that the 2023 budget will differ from its predecessors due to the change in the work mechanism and the development of understandings.

Khalil said in a press statement, “The previous budgets included political targeting, and despite this, the region respects the mandatory decisions of the Federal Court.”

As for his colleague in the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Rebin Salam, he accused unnamed political parties of obstructing communication between Baghdad and Erbil regarding the budget law.

Salam said, in a press statement: “The region’s share of the budget is not the only problem. There are those who try to mislead public opinion to incite against the region, and this is totally unacceptable, because there are other files that hinder its approval.”

A spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government, Jutiar Adel, expressed the Kurdistan government’s readiness to visit Baghdad, whenever necessary, pointing out that it “seeks to discuss important issues with the federal government.”

Adel added, “The ninth cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government, since its formation, has maintained its relations with the federal government, and has conducted a series of visits to Baghdad.”

And he continued regarding those visits, “Several committees were formed regarding many issues, such as the draft budget law, oil issues, and financial control,” noting that there is “coordination between the financial supervision offices in the regional government and the federal government.” .”  LINK