Shias told Kurds that there would be ‘no money without oil’, says Kurdish MP

File – Members of the Iraqi Parliament raise their hands to vote during a parliamentary session

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Iraqi Shia blocs told the Kurdish lawmakers in Baghdad that the federal government would not send the Region’s share of the budget if the Kurdistan region did not export oil through Baghdad, lawmaker Ahmed Haji Rashid said on Thursday.

The Iraqi parliament held a session early on Thursday to vote on the fiscal deficit financing bill, which allows the federal government to borrow 12 trillion Iraqi dinars ($10 billion) in internal and external loans in order to pay salaries of public servants. The loan was decreased from 42 trillion Iraqi dinars.

Kurdish lawmakers walked out of the session due to their concern about the Kurdistan Region’s share set in the fiscal deficit financing bill.

The bill was adopted by a majority vote of the Shia and Sunni lawmakers at dawn.

MP Haji Rashid said in a post to his official Facebook page that Shia blocs in the Iraqi parliament had told the Kurdish lawmakers that the federal government had transferred budget to the Region for over two years, but the Region had not exported its oil through Baghdad.

“We had sent money [to the Region] without sending a barrel of oil [to Baghdad] for two years and we had been showing good wills,” Haji Rashid cited the Shia blocs as saying. “There is no money without oil, and there in an election ahead of us and our people will not accept it.”

The fiscal deficit financing law commits the Kurdistan Region to hand over non-oil revenues and an amount of oil that SOMO indicates to the federal government in exchange for an amount of money as payment for the Region’s public servants.

“It the Region sends a delegation to Baghdad immediately and negotiate with the prime minister [Mustafa al-Kadhimi] and the finance minister [Ali Allawi] and is committed to the content of the loan law, it can secure even more than 320 billion dinars,” said Haji Rashid, who is also a member of Iraqi parliament’s finance committee.

He also warned that the Kurdistan Region would face more problems for the federal budget for fiscal year 2021 if it did not reach an agreement with Baghdad soon.

“If the Region does not show a good will hurriedly and does not return part of its oil and revenues [to Baghdad], it will face bigger problems for the 2021 budget which will arrive in the parliament soon,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, head of the Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party called on the Kurdish lawmakers to leave Baghdad and proposed that the Region stop calling for budget from Baghdad and reorganize revenue and distribute salaries every 30 days.

MP Sarkawt Shamsadin said in a tweet that it was not “acceptable” to deal of rights through majority-minority votes.

“KRG is a burden but financial rights of people of Kurdistan is responsibility of Iraqi Gov.,” he said.

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