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Council of Ministers approves project to restructure public finances in the Kurdistan Region

The Council of Ministers convened on May 14, 2023, to discuss a number of important issues. The Prime Minister, Masrour Barzani, presided over the meeting, with Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani in attendance. At the outset, Barzani expressed his satisfaction with the return of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan's ministerial team to the Council of Ministers' meetings.

The Council reaffirmed its support for President Massoud Barzani's message and the national reconciliation initiative. The resumption of oil exports from the Kurdistan Region was also a key topic of discussion, with Barzani stating that the KRG had fulfilled all its obligations under the agreement with the Iraqi federal government and was awaiting a final agreement between Iraq and Turkey.

The Council unanimously approved a draft law on the Restructuring of Public Finance in the Kurdistan Region, which aims to centralise revenues, liquidity, public expenses, and salaries. To protect public revenues, the Council decided to reorganise the revenues of banks, treasuries, customs and excise, and taxation directorates and to link them through an electronic system. Public salaries were prioritised as sovereign expenses, with procedures to be designed for other expenses based on equality and population.

The Prime Minister and his deputy were authorised to create necessary mechanisms to implement the decisions. The Council also formed a special committee from the relevant security agencies to conduct a joint investigation of security issues, to be conducted free of political interference and dealt with through the correct legal proceedings.

Finally, the Council praised the Ministry of Interior and the relevant agencies for their efforts in combating money laundering and terrorist financing and recommended that they collaborate fully with their Iraqi and international counterparts on this issue until adequate bills are drafted for this purpose. The Council reiterated its commitment to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.