KRG PM hopes approval of budget law becomes ‘good start’ to resolve issues

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (C) meets with consul generals and representatives of EU states in Erbil, April 20, 2021. (KRG)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said on Tuesday he hopes the approval of federal budget law for 2021 will become a “good start” to resolve issues between Erbil and Baghdad.

Barzani met with consul generals and representatives of EU states in Erbil, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said in a statement.

The premier reaffirmed the KRG’s commitment to implement the federal budget law, calling on Baghdad to fulfill its obligations to send the Kurdistan Region’s financial entitlements, the statement read.

“The federal government has not sent any salary to the Kurdistan Region for over 10 months,” Barzani said during the meeting.

On March 31, the Iraqi parliament approved the federal budget of 130 trillion Iraqi dinars ($89.65 billion) as the country wrestles with an economic and financial crisis due to low crude prices.

After months of wrangling, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government reached an agreement on thorny issues, including oil and non-oil revenues.

Under the 2021 budget law, the Kurdistan Region will be committed to produce 460,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).

After deducting expenses for production operations in the Region, transport of oil and the domestic consumption of crude oil, the KRG must hand over to Baghdad revenues generated from regional oil exports of 250,000 bpd, according to Iraq’s SOMO pricing, as well as 50 percent of non-oil revenue.

The Kurdistan Region, in return, will receive its share of the budget, which is set at 13.9%.

Barzani hoped “the approval of the federal budget law will become a good start to resolve the other pending issues on the basis of the Iraqi constitution, particularly Article 140 and the normalization of the situation in the Kurdistan areas outside the Region’s administration,” according to the statement.

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