Iraqi News

Wednesday Morning Iraq Economic News Highlights 4-26-23

“The Vote Will Not Be Delayed.” Parliamentary Finance Begins Discussing The Budget Today

Money  and business  Economy News _ Baghdad  Today, Wednesday, the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives begins discussing the federal general budget for the years (2023-2024-2025) and works through 3 paths to reduce the deficit rate to 20 percent, and the members of the committee indicated in conversations with “Al-Sabah” that approving the budget will not be long delayed. And they emphasized that the Prime Minister gave the committee great flexibility in order to make amendments in cooperation with the Ministries of Finance and Planning.

A member of the Finance Committee, Mustafa Al-Karawi, said, in an interview with Al-Sabah newspaper, followed by Al-Iqtisad News, that “the committee begins today, Wednesday, its discussions regarding the budget,” and indicated that “the committee will go towards reducing operational budgets directly, unnecessary investment, and reducing loans.”

He expressed his hope that “such paths will help reduce the budget deficit, which is considered abnormal and could cause future economic problems for the country.”

For his part, a member of the Finance Committee, Jamal Cougar, said, “The budget will pass and the vote on it will not be delayed, especially since not all ministers will be hosted. The time period for approving the budget.

He added, “The committee has the power to reduce and transfer, and this is what will be worked on in order to reduce the deficit,” explaining that “until now, the matter has not been resolved, as the numbers have not been checked or the concerned authorities have hosted.”

He stressed that “Al-Sudani gave all flexibility to the Finance Committee and expressed his willingness to send the advanced staff in the Ministries of Finance and Planning for the participation of the Finance Committee in its sessions that need them,” noting that “the government requested a budget for three years, so there should be a serious scrutiny of all the numbers in the budget to avoid Any mistake, and we should also be keen to reduce the deficit, because all indications say that oil prices will not remain at these numbers and will decline in the coming years.

And he continued, “The government has this rounded year of money and perhaps for the next year as well, and we may not have this rounded in 2025, so we must make accurate calculations for this matter, and for that the committee will add a paragraph that (the government is tasked with sending a budget for the next year with amendments to it.” )

Because it is unreasonable for oil prices to change and the budget does not change.” Cougar suggested that the budget would be approved “at the end of next May.”

In turn, a member of Parliament, Salem Al-Anbuge, said: “Many important points are still pending in the 2023 budget, most notably the deficit, which constitutes 33 percent of the budget’s volume, which is a large number, but efforts are being made to reduce it to 20 percent in a way that gives more flexibility.” Especially since the government made pledges to cover the fiscal deficit and treat it according to specific financial contexts.

In addition, economist Haitham Al-Husseini said: The committee can squeeze “capital” expenditures in this year’s budget.

Al-Husseini told “Al-Sabah”: “This type of expenditure includes (maintenance, kerosene, gasoline, furniture and other materials that can be reduced), especially since comparing this year’s budget with its previous counterparts shows that there is an increase in the capital budget.”

He added, “The budget needs radical solutions to the issue of its preparation due to the presence of a lot of wasted money and accounting errors, as the budget must be restructured to be consistent with the event and the directions of the state. It is not possible to adopt the same budget that I used while I am following a socialist system in which the government has complete control over all joints.”

Today we are heading towards open trade. The economist suggested applying the “unified treasury” system that exists all over the world, “to know how much are the expenditures and revenues, and it is possible to know the financial movement of the amounts that are spent from anywhere in the country.

Iraq must go beyond the classics in preparing its budgets and achieving the correct financial management system.” In a related context, a member of the Legal Committee, Mahmoud Al-Salami, said, in an interview with Al-Sabah:

Jamal Cougar: 4 Remarks That Get In The Way Of The Budget

Baghdad – Iraq today:  The Finance Committee in the House of Representatives revealed that the committee had four observations on the draft budget law.

A member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Jamal Cougar, said in a press interview, “There are notes that were written down regarding the budget, including the large deficit in the budget, in addition to submitting a budget for three consecutive years, and this matter was justified by the prime minister earlier.”

And he continued, “As for the third note, it relates to some ministries that must be increased financially at this stage, and not to remain marginalized compared to other ministries that were exclusive to previous budgets.”

And he continued, “The fourth observation, caused by the feeling of unfairness in some governorates in terms of financial allocations, and we will make an effort to make financial transfers in the budget to compensate for the existing impalance. LINK

The Stability Of The Dollar Exchange Rates In The Local Markets

Economy  |Baghdad today – Baghdad   Today, Wednesday, the exchange rates of the dollar against the dinar recorded stability in the main stock exchange and local markets in the capital, Baghdad.

The (Baghdad Today) correspondent said, “The exchange rate of the dollar for today, on the stock exchange, reached 140,300 Iraqi dinars for every 100 dollars.”

And he added, “The selling price reached 141,000 dinars per 100 dollars, and the purchase price reached 139,000 dinars per 100 dollars in local exchange offices.” LINK

One Week Separates The Dollar From Stability At The Parallel Price Of 132 Thousand Dinars

Economy  |Baghdad today – Baghdad    Today, Wednesday, the economic expert, Nabil Al-Tamimi, expected a gradual decrease in the exchange rate of the dollar in the parallel market, reaching 1,320 thousand dinars.

Al-Tamimi told (Baghdad Today) that “the central bank’s procedures managed to pass a lot of remittances, leaving only simple things.”

He added that “there is no need left for irregular transfers, and therefore the exchange rate of the dollar decreased, and the Iraqi street was convinced that the government would not raise the price of the dollar.”

He pointed out that “the price of the dollar at the beginning of the week will settle at 1320 thousand dinars per dollar, and it will be sold in the market to the citizen at 1320 or 1330 as a maximum.”

The exchange rates are witnessing a significant decline compared to the previous months, until the exchange rate reached 141,000 dinars compared to 100 dollars, amid expectations that the exchange rate in the local markets would reach the official price set (1320) thousand dinars in the coming days. LINK

Louay Al-Khatib: Maintaining Electricity In Iraq Is One Of The Seventh Impossibilities

Tue, 04-25-2023, Pm 4:41   Tayseer Al-Asadi   Former Minister of Electricity Louay Al-Khatib reviewed, on Tuesday, the main problems afflicting the energy sector in Iraq, stressing that the provision of electric energy will not be without lifting government subsidies and considering it a non-free commodity.

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s visit to the Operation and Control Department, Al-Khatib said, “These and other cases that your Excellency reviewed during your recent visit to the Operation and Control Department are individual cases and may be regional, and are not general to the overall performance of the network, and are limited to the performance of the relevant distribution departments, and therefore are Secondary to the crisis of scarcity of equipment and fairness of distribution.

He warned that “the electricity crisis in Iraq is mainly caused by government subsidies on tariffs and fuel, as well as government domination of the electricity sector, and therefore its economic and institutional causes before they are technical.”

He continued, “Simply put, the price of energy supply is linked to hard currency and international fuel prices, and therefore it is impossible to sustain energy supply to consumers and meet demand on the basis of government support that drains the treasury of a country with limited imports in light of the population growth in Iraq, which has exceeded the barrier of 2.6% annually.

Meaning.” When the pricing is zero or close to it, demand will be unlimited and indefinite, in addition to government support and government domination of this sector in light of a chaotic democratic system that will perpetuate mismanagement and corruption even more.

He pointed out that “the electricity sector recently costs the Iraqi state treasury about $20 billion annually in fuel costs at international prices, maintenance allocations, import and purchase of energy, and expansion of the network (production, transmission and distribution), while the sector is supported by 90% of the state, which is non-refundable.

Domestic demand is met, no matter how hard governments try, and the sector will remain a loser and a breeding ground for corrupt people who live on government allocations of fuel and financing for government companies that are governed by political and factional quota protocols.

He addressed Al-Sudani, saying, “The solution will not be for you to go to the Operation and Control Department and transfer the requests of some citizens. Rather, the solution lies in your meeting with the heads of parliamentary blocs to explain to them the necessary reform steps in the economic and institutional files for this important sector, which has become costly on the federal budget at a value of 20 billion dollars annually.” ,

and another 20 billion dollars annually as a direct loss to the GDP due to the scarcity of equipment for the sectors of industry, commerce and agriculture, and that the issue of canceling subsidies has become necessary and inevitable to avoid the inevitable collapse of the national network in the next few years.

He pointed out that “the decision to cancel the subsidy is a government decision that needs the approval of the Council of Ministers and political support from the ruling blocs in the House of Representatives so that it does not hinder the government’s steps, and all of these need tax reforms as well as the inclusion of specific financial allocations for social protection networks so that support is exclusively for beneficiaries from limited-income societal groups.”

With the development of a solid and solid plan to privatize the production and distribution sectors gradually and with a time limit set according to international standards, thus financing the electricity sector will shift to attracting giant investments as well as the movement of investors in the stock market so that the sector becomes profitable, and not depending on government support that made it loser, draining the budget and costly output. country’s local.

And he stressed the need to “cancel all lines of exceptions in supplying free energy to political parties and their affiliated institutions. As well as developing a tight collection plan for the entire network, especially from slums that exceeded a million slums in Iraq, by force of law, otherwise the supply is cut off centrally for groups that refuse to pay. It must also be imposed.” Double fines and severe penalties for anyone found to have violated the national network.

He continued, “I explained these matters in detail during my many meetings in the House of Representatives and its committees in 2019, but the proposals were met with strong opposition from some, due to their collision with the personal interests of many deputies who depend on this sector and its government support in marketing their electoral campaigns, and the mention is sufficient for him.”

And he added, “All institutions and media platforms stand against this education because they tend to populist discourse and what is consistent with the desire of society that does not want to pay the real cost of energy, while it sees it as a natural right that must be provided by the government, whatever the demand and regardless of the cost that does not want to be paid.” be bound by it.”

He concluded: “Electricity is not a free service for citizens, but rather a commercial commodity, and its cost must be paid by the consumer 100% without any subsidy, otherwise it cannot be provided to consumers. And all the rumored media narratives about providing it to the people by governments in a subsidized manner is pure lies, with the exception of some The very few and limited examples that cannot be compared to Iraq, and they are usually not a rule.

The Central Bank Of Iraq Succeeds In Breaking The Back Of The Dollar (Caricature)

Baghdad-Iraq today:  The Central Bank of Iraq succeeds in breaking the back of the dollar (caricature) LINK