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Prime Minister chairs special meeting on public finance restructuring

On Monday 22 May, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, chaired a special meeting alongside Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani to discuss the restructuring of public finances in the Kurdistan Region.

The meeting focused on the Council of Ministers' decision regarding the restructuring of public finances throughout the Kurdistan Region. This decision, which was unanimously agreed on 14 May, granted authority to the Prime Minister and his deputy to establish the necessary mechanisms for the resolution's rapid implementation.

During the meeting, the drafting of mechanisms for restructuring public expenditures and revenues across the Kurdistan Region was also discussed. The participants emphasised that providing salaries to the public is the government's top priority.

Regarding other public expenditures, the government decided to implement a fair policy for their distribution among the regions based on the population of governorates and autonomous provinces. To facilitate this, they agreed to consolidate all revenues from the Kurdistan Region into a single bank account, thereby discontinuing the current percentage-based system for revenue allocation.

Furthermore, the meeting resolved to reorganise the banks and treasuries of the Kurdistan Region and link them through an electronic system. This measure aims to protect public revenues, enhance transparency, and improve the planning of expenditures to achieve a balanced budget.

The Prime Minister emphasised that a team of local and international experts is currently working on establishing an advanced and modern banking and finance system in the Kurdistan Region.

Another important topic discussed during the meeting was the Kurdistan Region's financial entitlements within the draft law of the Iraqi budget, which is currently under consideration by the Finance Committee in the Iraqi Parliament. The Prime Minister reiterated the Kurdistan Regional Government's commitment to the petroleum agreement reached between Erbil and Baghdad on 4 April.

The meeting commended the efforts made to remove references in the draft law that placed restrictions on the Kurdistan Region's share within Iraq's federal budget. The Kurdish members of both the Iraqi Council of Ministers and the Iraqi Parliament from all political groups were praised for their united defence of the constitutional rights and entitlements of the Kurdistan Region, as well as their intensified efforts to ensure the payment of salaries to the region's citizens.

Lastly, the meeting called upon the Iraqi federal government and coalition groups within the cabinet to fulfil and implement the agreements constitutionally, thereby guaranteeing the rights and entitlements of the Kurdistan Region, just as with any other part of Iraq.