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Iraqi Parliament Presidency Receives Budget Law

Iraqi Parliament Presidency Receives Budget Law

Tuesday, 23 February, 2021 - 09:30
Contentious issues in the draft-budget law are yet to be addressed between the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan region. (Photo: REUTERS/THAIER AL-SUDANI)

Iraqi Parliament’s finance committee submitted the draft of the Federal Budget Law to Parliament’s presidency to set the date for the voting session, Iraqi sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the Kurdistan region is expected to arrive in Baghdad on Tuesday to complete discussions between the two sides on contentious issues, including the region’s financial share in the country's federal budget.

Parliamentary sources said that the draft law, which was handed over to Parliament, has not addressed the provisions regarding the Kurdistan region's share.

In this context, UN representative to Iraq Jeanine Plasschaert told the Security Council that agreements on the 2021 budget law “requires reconciliation and compromise between Baghdad and Erbil.”

“Within that context, I regret to again report that a final, durable agreement on budgetary and larger issues remains elusive. The harsh reality is that constructive negotiations between Baghdad and Erbil continue to be hampered by laws missing since 2005. Laws on, for instance, oil and revenue sharing. Other areas of contention also include the disputed territories,” Plasschaert said in her briefing.

She continued: “A positive, stable relationship between federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region is absolutely essential to the stability of the whole country. And of course, enhancing and strengthening Iraq’s federal system requires concessions on both sides, and practicing what one preaches. It requires the responsible use of moderate language by all.”

The Parliamentary Finance Committee held 46 meetings over the past weeks with representatives of ministries, government agencies, and other entities to discuss allocations within the budget.

Parliament was unable to pass the budget for several years, including in 2020, when widespread protests hit the country and were followed by the resignation of the government of former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

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