Politics & Economics

Budget Share Cut Will Continue Until Region Transfers Oil: PM Abdul Mahdi

Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister, Adil Abd al-Mahdi said that the Iraqi Government will abide by the federal budget law and continue to send limited funding to Kurdistan Region for public sector salaries until the dispute over oil transfers is resolved.

Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi has said that the federal government will abide by the federal budget law and only send funding to the Kurdistan Region for public sector salary payments until the dispute over oil transfers is resolved.

During a televised interview on Monday (July 22), Abdul Mahdi said that the Region should live up to its obligations and transfer 250,000 crude oil barrels per day to the federal government.

Under the law, the Region should receive 12.67 percent of the federal budget if all sides abide by the law, but, since Erbil has not been sending oil, Baghdad has cut payments. It is required, however, to send enough money each month to pay for the salaries of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) employees and the Peshmerga.

“We cut the part of the funding sent to the Kurdistan Region as it does not submit [oil]. We will continue to implement what is in the law,” Abdul Mahdi told reporters.

“We will send the part to [the Kurdistan Region] it deserves. We will cut from the Region’s budget share when they do not submit [oil],” he added.

Abdul Mahdi said that the issue was part of a long-running dispute over the budget and salaries. Without a national oil law, disputes between Erbil and Baghdad often result in the latter using cuts to the Region’s budget share as leverage in negotiations.

During a meeting of the KRG Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said on Monday that Erbil and Baghdad would intensify their efforts to resolve the dispute.

Barzani has made improving relations with the federal government a priority of his new government.

Image: Prime Minister’s Media Office

Article: NRT