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A speech by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on salary payments

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani today announced that starting this month, government employee salaries will be paid in full and without any cutback.

Prime Minister Barzani indicated in an official statement that it is within the government’s priorities to secure employee salaries, and that the Kurdistan Regional Government will continue paying on schedule so long as the Iraqi federal government fulfills its promise of sending the Kurdistan Region its budgetary share, as per the federal budget law.

Prime Minister’s full speech:

In the Name of God Almighty.

My dear and respectable Kurdistani people,

We have gone through a difficult time in the past two years: a time full of recessions, issues, and disasters. Some of these had natural causes, like the Covid-19 pandemic and global financial crises which also affected the Kurdistan Region. Some of the recessions were intentionally directed at the Kurdistan Region with the aim of slowing us down, but we persisted in our reform process and in defending the constitutional rights of the people of Kurdistan.

Here, I find it of great importance to extend my thanks to all citizens of the Kurdistan Region for their patience and forbearance in the face of all issues and difficult times, and for not losing faith in their government.

We were not ready to succumb to any of these pressures, and did everything in our power to secure employee salaries even though the budget was insufficient for full payments in their original amounts. We followed a principle of prioritizing whatever budget was available for the salaries of employees. Unfortunately, we were not able to secure a budget which the people of Kurdistan deserve.

We must also take into consideration that securing salaries for government employees is not the only duty of the KRG. We are also responsible for providing services to all people of the Kurdistan Region, services such as providing water, electricity, roads, and building projects.

It is for this reason that, parallel to securing salaries, the government has made efforts to establish a strong economic foundation so we become more reliant on our own sources of revenue in the future.

Proliferating and diversifying revenue sources is high on the government’s priority list. We have been making efforts to ensure that the people of the Kurdistan Region will have trust in local sources of revenue without taking any loans. Such efforts have already been successful to a great degree.

I would like to extend my thanks to the private sector, which came to the aid of the Kurdistan Regional Government in implementing all its projects. In return, we will continue supporting them and fostering the relationship between the public and private sectors. Together we will build a strong foundation for Kurdistan Region’s economy.

As you already know, the Iraqi federal government has finally sent this month’s budget for the Kurdistan Region, which will substantially fill the budget gap for salaries.

It is my great pleasure to announce to the dear people of Kurdistan, that both the Council of Ministers and the High Economic Council have decided to pay salaries this month in full and without any cutback. I hope that the Iraqi federal government will continue fulfilling its promise of sending the Kurdistan Region its due share of the budget, so that we’re able to continue paying your salaries in full in the upcoming months as well.

We reiterate, that as long as the budget available to us is sufficient, we will continue paying salaries without any cutback, which again, depends on the Iraqi federal government’s fulfilling its promise.

Another thing I want to mention is the recent increase in Covid-19 cases and Covid-related deaths in the Kurdistan Region, which are largely due to a lack of following the Ministry of Health’s guidelines. Such is why I ask you, my dear brother and sisters, to uphold these health guidelines, to stay safe and protect the lives of not just yourselves, but your loved ones as well. I also urge you to make haste in getting vaccinated, which, according to all scientists and experts, drastically increases your immunity against the virus. It is, therefore, a duty, and I urge you to take it earnestly. I call also upon the Ministry of Health to secure more vaccines as soon as possible to give more citizens access.

Once again, I thank you for your patience and forbearance, and I hope you comply with the Covid-19 health guidelines. Otherwise, God forbid, the number of cases will only increase further. Overcoming this pandemic is a mutual duty between the people and the government, not just the government by itself, but we instead need to work together. The government will continue providing the health supplies that the people need, and the people need to carry the responsibility of staying safe, and following the guidelines set by the Health Ministry.

Thank you, stay safe, and may Kurdistan ever prosper.

Masrour Barzani
The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government