Iraqi News

Tuesday Morning Iraq Economic News Highlights 3-21-23

He Ruled Out Voting On It Soon.. Al-Maliki Reveals The Secrets Of The Struggle Over The Budget

03/21/2023   Earth News / A member of the House of Representatives of the State of Law coalition, Abbas al-Maliki, revealed today, Tuesday, the secrets of the struggle over the budget law.

Al-Maliki told Earth News Agency, “The importance of the budget law pushes the political forces to impose conditions and privileges that they want to obtain before they agree to pass the law and put pressure on the government to dictate its conditions. Therefore, the budget witnessed in the last period tensions between the political forces.”

And he indicated that “some parties want a larger share, and the demands of the Kurds on the other hand, which also demand a larger percentage than they get, and therefore they refrain from voting on the budget unless they guarantee that they have a greater financial allocation.”

He pointed out that “the border crossings and the revenues of the Kurdistan region are also a dilemma in every budget that is raised, as the government believes that the imports of the crossings and the imports of Kurdistan oil should be handed over to the federal treasury and then distributed as a federal budget, but the region refuses that in addition to the differences within the region itself between Sulaymaniyah and Erbil over Therefore, these are all problems that need consensus, and perhaps a vote on them will not take place in the near future, and it may take more than a month.

The Oil And Gas Law Will Impose The Region’s Authority Over Areas Belonging To Nineveh

Today 08:36   Al-Shabki: Information / Baghdad…   The former deputy, representing Nineveh Governorate, Muhammad al-Shabaki, confirmed that the legislation of the oil and gas law and its implementation will give the region authority over areas belonging to Nineveh Governorate, pointing out that these areas contain oil fields that are under the authority of the region.

Al-Shabki told Al-Maalouma, “The problem does not lie in the legislation of the oil and gas law, but the problem is that some areas of Nineveh governorate are implementing a project aimed at Kurdishizing them through Kurdish schools, in addition to Nineveh that has oil fields from which oil is being extracted by the regional government.”

He added, “The application of the oil and gas law and the annexation of the oil fields in Nineveh to the region means that the areas in which those fields are located will be areas belonging to Kurdistan, and in conclusion, this means the application of Article 140.”

And he indicated that “there is fear in the areas of the Nineveh Plain and Sinjar regarding the oil and gas law, especially since some areas will indirectly join the region if this law is implemented, despite the fact that they are areas belonging to Nineveh Governorate.” LINK

An Economist Diagnoses A Major Imbalance In The Budget

Today 09:54    Information / Baghdad..  Today, Tuesday, the economic expert, Abd al-Rahman al-Sheikhli, identified a defect in the preparation of the draft general budget law for the fiscal year 2023.

Al-Sheikhly told Al-Maalouma, that “Whoever prepared the current budget made a mistake when he set the price of a barrel of oil in it at $70, because the current cost of extracting it is much higher than the selling price, which will increase the size of the deficit and not extinguish it.”

He added, “The Iraqi external and internal debt to Iraq is very large, and it was supposed to set a price between 55-60 dollars per barrel of oil in order to be a wide area to fill the deficit.”

Al-Sheikhly indicated, “The price of a barrel of oil in the 2023 budget will force the current government to borrow more, especially if there are no multiple sources of funding.” LINK

The Dollar Opens Trading On Tuesday, Exceeding 156 Thousand Dinars

Today 12:39   Information / Baghdad..   Today, Tuesday, the exchange rates of the US dollar recorded a new high against the Iraqi dinar in Baghdad and the central and southern governorates.

The selling prices amounted to 156,750 dinars for every 100 US dollars.   While the purchase prices amounted to 155,750 dinars per 100 dollars. LINK

The Stability Of Oil Prices.. Brent Records 73.84 Dollars Per Barrel

Economy  |Today, 08:54  Baghdad today – follow-up  Oil prices stabilized today, Tuesday, after falling early in the previous session on investor concerns that the recent problems in the banking sector will affect the global economy and reduce demand for crude.

Brent crude futures for May delivery rose five cents to $73.84 a barrel by 0049 GMT.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose nine cents to $67.73 a barrel. In the previous session, both Brent and West Texas Intermediate fell by about $3 a barrel before closing higher.

The US crude contract for April expires on Tuesday, and May is the most active contract for that crude.

Tuesday’s slight rise in rates came after a landmark deal in which Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, agreed to buy smaller rival Credit Suisse in a bid to save it.

After the deal was announced, major central banks, including the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, indicated that they would enhance market liquidity and support other banks.

Meanwhile, officials from the Group of Seven major industrialized nations said it was unlikely that the group would revise the $60 ceiling imposed on Russian oil as planned. Officials said the European Commission told EU ambassadors over the weekend that there was no urgency among the group for an immediate review.

OPEC+, which groups the world’s largest oil exporters and allies including Russia, is scheduled to meet on April 3. The group agreed in October to cut oil production targets by 2 million barrels per day until the end of 2023.    LINK

A Slight Rise In The Exchange Rates Of The Dollar In The Local Markets

economy |Today, 11:50 Baghdad today – Baghdad  Today, Tuesday, the exchange rates of the dollar against the dinar recorded a slight increase in exchange shops in the capital, Baghdad.

The (Baghdad Today) correspondent said, “The Al-Kifah and Al-Harithiya stock exchanges recorded an exchange rate of 156,500 dinars for every 100 dollars.

He added, “The buying and selling prices increased in exchange shops in the local markets in Baghdad, where the selling price reached 157,500 dinars per 100 dollars, while the purchase prices reached 155,500 dinars per 100 dollars.”   LINK

The Iraqi Government Issues A Number Of Decisions – Urgent

Baghdad today – Baghdad  Today, Monday, the Iraqi government issued, during the cabinet session, which was chaired by Muhammad Shia’ al-Sudani, a number of decisions.

The media office of Al-Sudani said in a statement received by (Baghdad Today) that “the latter presided over the tenth regular session of the Council of Ministers, which witnessed a discussion of the overall situation and developments in public affairs, and research in a number of files and basic issues, as well as following up on the implementation of previously approved decisions and procedures, and issuing directives.”

At the outset of the session, Al-Sudani and the ministers extended their best wishes and greetings to our Kurdish people and the general Iraqi people on the occasion of the Newroz holidays, hoping that the occasion will always return to our people in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and the rest of our beloved country, with goodness, prosperity and stability.

The Prime Minister also offered, according to the statement, “his congratulations to the sons of our Iraqi people and the entire Islamic nation, on the occasion of the advent of the blessed month of Ramadan, praying to Al-Bari to make it a month of forgiveness and mercy for our country, and that the Almighty accept from all good deeds and worship.”

The Council considered the files and decisions presented on its agenda and took the appropriate decisions in their regard.

In the field of supporting the pharmaceutical industries, and working to localize them locally in order to raise national sufficiency rates for important medicines, the Cabinet approved the recommendations of the meeting held on March 9, 2023 regarding the localization of the pharmaceutical industry; According to the following:

1- Maintaining the current classification, with fair distribution regardless of the classification for the national factories (ABC). The referral shall be to all national factories with uniform quantities of materials produced by them, by amending Paragraph (3) of Article Seventeen of the controls for factories, and canceling the two paragraphs ( 4 and 5 relating to the distribution mechanism are among the controls for supplying medicines from national factories mentioned in the book of the Ministry of Planning, with the commitment of national factories to adopt high quality specifications (cGMP). In the event that these specifications are not fully available, the factory is given a period of (12) months to comply with these specifications.

2- Releasing operating advances for contracts concluded with national pharmaceutical factories, provided that they do not exceed (50%), taking into account controls No. (17) related to the mechanism for dealing with operational advances.

3- Formation of the Drug Council (headed by the Undersecretary of the Minister of Health and membership of the Director General of the Technical Department in the Ministry of Health, the Director General of the General Company for Marketing Medicines and Medical Supplies (Kimadia), the Director General of the General Company for the Manufacturing of Medicines and Medical Supplies in Samarra, the Director General of the General Authority for Customs, and the Director General The Directorate for Combating Organized Crime,

in addition to a member of the owners of the private pharmaceutical industrial sector and representatives of the syndicates (doctors, dentists, and pharmacists) for the purpose of integration between the public sector represented by the Ministry of Health, and the private sector and overcoming obstacles and overcoming obstacles.

4- Establishing industrial cities for the pharmaceutical industry by allocating vast lands for the establishment of pharmaceutical factories in accordance with the Industrial Cities Law (2 of 2019) in coordination with the Industrial Cities Authority in accordance with the aforementioned law.

5- Granting soft loans to existing factories that wish to develop their production lines, while easing the terms of bank guarantees so that they are guaranteed by the factory.

6- Approving the approval letters of the Ministry of Health regarding the import of raw materials and other supplies by national factories in coordination with the Ministry of Finance (the General Authority for Customs, the General Authority for Taxes), and the General Authority for Border Crossings, and notifying the Ministry of Commerce and the General Directorate of Industrial Development of that.

Raising the customs tariff on imported medicines for which there is a similar product produced locally to 100% of the import price according to the National Product Protection Law through the application of the amended Iraqi National Products Law No. (11 of 2010).

Local companies producing medicines can coordinate between them and The Directorate of Industrial Development in the Ministry of Industry and Minerals on the subject, in accordance with the aforementioned law.

With regard to completing the development of solutions to the file of free lecturers, the Council of Ministers approved the transfer of free and administrative lecturers for free, amounting to (14825) according to the actual need provided by the General Directorate of Education of Baghdad, the third Rusafa, according to Cabinet Resolution 315 of 2019, starting from January 1. 2023,

and with regard to the free lecturers and administrators, who number (20,666) remaining from the total number (outside the actual need of the directorate), then their distribution will be among the general directorates of education in the Baghdad governorate, or to the rest of the other ministries.

The Council of Ministers continued its support for trade unions and federations, in order for them to play their full positive role, and decided the following:

The Ministry of Finance owns real estate on which headquarters are established for syndicates and federations established according to special laws, which devolved to the Ministry of Finance after 2003, to the aforementioned syndicates and federations without compensation, in accordance with the Emiri Lands and Buildings Ownership Law No. (3) of 1960, provided that:

  1. The absence of a plot or building at the authority requesting ownership that is suitable for the intended purpose.
  2. . The government does not need the property or the building to be owned, according to the text of the aforementioned law for ownership of property and princely buildings.

3- The headquarters are used only for these syndicates and unions, and it is not permissible for any other purpose, or to offer them for investment or for rent.

As a continuation of the measures supporting the agricultural sector, and encouraging farmers to take steps to rationalize the use of irrigation water, the Cabinet approved the recommendation of the Ministerial Council of Economy regarding the approval of postponing installments for sprinkler irrigation systems for the project of using irrigation technologies and modern mechanization.

In its session, the Council discussed the rest of the topics presented on its agenda and took the following decisions in their regard:

First: Canceling Paragraph (3) of Cabinet Resolution (53 of 2020), regarding the public treasury’s share of the profit, as of January 1, 2022.

Second / Approval of proceeding with the development of the program submitted by the General Authority for Customs (the electronic customs declaration program) as a basis for networking between all customs centers (land, air, and sea) with the headquarters of the General Authority for Customs and the Border Crossings Authority, according to the attached paper, with an addition At the end of Paragraph Fourth, “After the approval of the Federal General Budget Draft Law,” Paragraph Fifth was deleted from the recommendations.

Third / Approval of the recommendation of the Energy Ministerial Council (8 of 2022) regarding the consensual settlement with the South Korean company (Kocaz), the operator of the Akkas gas field, according to the following:

1- Disbursement of the remainder of the consensual settlement amounts agreed upon between the Midland Oil Company and the South Korean Cogas Company; Required to be paid to the South Korean company (Kokaz); The amount is (49,000,000) dollars, only forty-nine million dollars, provided that it pays a type of crude oil (In-Kind) from the Oil Marketing Company SOMO, according to a settlement agreement that guarantees the rights of the Ministry of Oil, according to the decisions of the opinion committee in the ministry.

2- Developing a formula for a settlement agreement between the two parties, according to which the contract remains valid for one year after the date of its signing, and the South Korean company (Kokaz) undertakes, according to this agreement, to transfer all its rights and contractual obligations to a company or a consortium of international companies qualified in accordance with the standards of the Ministry of Oil; To replace it in the development of the field in accordance with the terms of the service contract, in addition to its commitment to provide support and technical backing for the project without any other financial or contractual obligations, or that the contract be terminated after the expiry of that period without obtaining a replacement operator.

Fourth / Approval of the following:

Merging the two departments (renewable energies) with (environment and water) into one department under the name (department of environment, water and renewable energies) in the merged Ministry of Science and Technology, based on the provisions of the merged Ministry of Science and Technology Law No. (75) of 2012.

Fifth / Approval of the recommendation of the Energy Ministerial Council (23007i) for the year 2023 related to the renewal of the contract with the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) for the year 2023, with a nodal quantity of (4) million barrels of Basra medium crude oil, by two million barrels for the month of June and the same for the month of August. From 2023, under the same contractual terms as previously applicable.

Sixth: Approving the proposals of the Ministry of Interior regarding developing the work of the Traffic Directorate, according to the following:

1- Transferring and operating the raw traffic sign factory on the plot of land adjacent to the Traffic Directorate on the side of the highway of Muhammad Al-Qasim Road in Baghdad, which is allocated to the Ministry of the Interior, instead of the laboratories affiliated to the Ministry of Industry and Minerals that are currently built on, provided that the staffing of the employees in the aforementioned work is transferred. From the staff of the Ministry of Industry and Minerals to the staff of the Ministry of Interior / Traffic Directorate, who number (294) employees, provided that this does not entail any financial consequences.

2- The abolition of traffic engineering divisions and departments in each of the Ministry of Construction, Housing, Municipalities and Public Works, the Municipality of Baghdad, and municipalities in the governorates to undertake the aforementioned task of furnishing, and the creation of a directorate called the Directorate of Roads Engineering and Traffic Signs that includes the aforementioned divisions and departments and is linked to the General Traffic Directorate in the Ministry of Interior to undertake the task Mentioned in the furnishing, based on the authority vested in the Prime Minister in accordance with the provisions of the Law of Creating Administrative Formations, Merging them and Modifying their Relevancy, No. (12) for the year 2011 in order to unify specialization and organize tasks and duties within the work of this Directorate.   LINK