Kurdistan Region’s problems delay approval of federal budget bill: MP

File – Members of Iraqi Council of Representatives attend a session of parliament in Baghdad. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Region’s problems with the federal government will delay the approval of the draft budget law for 2021, an Iraqi lawmaker said on Friday.

Member of Sairoon bloc in the Iraqi Council of Representatives Badr Zyadi said the Kurdistan Region had yet to disclose its non-oil revenues to Baghdad.

“There is a big dispute between Kurds, the financial committee and the political parties regarding the budget,” Zyadi told state news agency INA on Friday.

“It needs a political consensus and more time to vote on it,” the lawmaker said.

The Iraqi Council of Representatives has finished the first reading of the draft budget law, but it has yet to vote on the second reading and adopt the budget law.

In January, Kurdistan Parliament’s Deputy Speaker Hemn Hawrami said the issue between Baghdad and Erbil was on article 11 of the budget bill, which is about oil exports in the Region.

“The problem is with Article 11, which is specific to the issue of handing over oil [to Baghdad],” he added, noting that the article demands Erbil and Baghdad finalize entitlements for 2004-2020.

Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani who led a high-level delegation to Baghdad said in December that Erbil and Baghdad had reached an agreement over the 2021 federal budget bill.

The draft budget law commits the Kurdistan Region to export 250,000 barrels per day through Baghdad and hand over 50% of non-oil revenue to the federal government in exchange for the Region’s share of the federal budget, which is set at 12.67%.

“The Region has not paid the debts from 2003 until now,” Zyadi said. “The problem is related to the Region’s disclosure of non-oil resources.”

“There is no consensus regarding this issue. Thus, the budget will be delayed for several more days,” he added.

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