KRG hasn’t committed to 2021 federal budget law: lawmaker

File – Kurdistan and Iraqi flags

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Region does not want to implement its agreement with Baghdad due to an increase in oil prices and internal revenues, a lawmaker told Esta Media Network.

A member of Iraqi parliament’s committee of oil and gas Ghalib Mohammed said the federal government had not sent the Region’s share of the budget because Erbil had not been committed to the budget law for 2021.

The Iraqi parliament approved the federal budget of 130 trillion Iraqi dinars ($89.65 billion) on March 31.

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%.

“The KRG has yet to commit to the articles of the law, and it has not handed over oil and non-oil revenues, and it has not sent a committee to Baghdad. Therefore, the federal government has not sent the Region’s share,” Mohammed told Esta Media Network.

“The Kurdistan Region has not approached one step to show that it wants to abide by the law because if they wanted to implement the law, they would have come to Baghdad and say: ‘we will be committed completely’,” he said.

“They don’t see the issue important because oil prices have risen and the internal revenues have increased, and they receive customs revenues in dollars. They even don’t pay people’s salaries. Therefore, they don’t want to reach an agreement. On that basis, Baghdad also doesn’t send the budget to the Kurdistan Region.”

The KRG has repeatedly said it would commit to the federal budget law for 2021.

In April, the department of media and information said the Region had reaffirmed its commitment to fulfilling Erbil’s financial obligations under the federal budget law.

“In a letter to the Federal Iraqi Government’s Ministry of Finance, dated April 13, 2021, the KRG Ministry of Finance and Economy affirmed its commitment to fulfilling the Kurdistan Region’s financial obligations within the framework of the 2021 Iraqi Federal Budget Law and outlined practical steps will be taking,” it said in a statement.

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