Baghdad yet to send 200 billion dinars to Kurdistan Region: MP

A customer counts Iraqi dinars at a money changer in Baghdad. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The federal government has yet to transfer 200 billion Iraqi dinars ($137 million) to the Kurdistan Region, a lawmaker said, noting political pressure from parties.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi agreed to transfer 200 billion dinars per month to the Kurdistan Region following a phone call with Kurdish premier Masrour Barzani in June.

Barzani said they had reached “a deal that will see federal budget payments restored to the KRI and backdated to Jan 2021”.

The federal government transferred the amount last month to be used to pay salaries of public servants in the Kurdistan Region.

Member of the Iraqi Council of Representatives Shirwan Mirza said it was still unclear when the federal government would send the money for this month.

“It is the duty of the government to send the money and it only knows when it will be sent, but there is pressure from the parties,” Mirza told Esta Media Network.

Iraq’s parliamentary committee of finance in June called on the federal government to abide by the budget law regarding the Region’s share.

“The budget law has set a clear way which does not allow change or courtesy in the issue. It rather set obligations for the Region’s government and the central government,” it added.

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.

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