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KRG Urges Federal Government to Meet Budget Obligations

On Wednesday , September 6, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani led a session of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Council of Ministers. Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani was also present.

At the meeting's beginning, the Prime Minister conveyed the Council of Ministers' condolences to families mourning those lost in recent incidents in Kirkuk. He also wished the injured a speedy recovery.

The Council strongly condemned the violence against peaceful protestors, lamenting the tragic loss of life.

The Council implored the federal government and relevant parties to initiate legal action against those who resorted to violence, leading to civilian casualties.

Subsequently, discussions revolved around the execution of the 2023 federal budget law and the outcomes of the Kurdistan Region's latest negotiations with the federal government in Baghdad.

The Prime Minister, on behalf of the Council, commended the KRG delegation for defending the region's rights, backed by data and constitutional principles. The KRG takes responsibility for timely salary disbursements within the region. However, a two-month delay in federal employee salaries, caused by Baghdad's non-compliance with budgetary obligations, is deeply concerning.

The Council emphasised the financial entitlements for 2023, as specified in the Iraqi budget, to be 16 trillion and 498 billion dinars – averaging 1 trillion 375 billion dinars monthly. In a distinct deviation from the agreed budget, the Iraqi Council of Ministers on September 3, 2023, decided on a 500 billion dinar loan for the months of September, October, and November, neglecting July and August salary payments. As of June 25, 2023, the Kurdistan Region had fulfilled its budgetary obligations.

Given these facts, the KRG Council urges the Iraqi Council of Ministers to disburse the funds allocated in the budget, especially the 906 billion dinars for salaries, ensuring equitable treatment as mandated by the constitution.

The Council also calls for regional political unity in protecting the region's constitutional rights and suggests a comprehensive gathering to disseminate relevant information. It further appeals to major political entities in the Iraqi government formation process to honour the Kurdistan region’s budgetary entitlements and political accords.

Lastly, the Council requests international support for the Kurdistan Region in upholding its constitutional and financial rights, ensuring the Kurdish people's rights are protected from undue violation.