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KRG sends budget to parliament.

The sixth cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) sent their annual draft budget law to the Kurdistan Parliament for approval and endorsement on Tuesday, January 19, 2010. The Prime Minister of the KRG Dr Barham Salih announced that the proposed budget is US$9.6 billion (11.433 trillion Iraqi Dinars). The PM added at the press conference that 3.543 trillion ID will be allocated to investment projects and 7.889 trillion ID for operating expenses. The proposed budget is also dependent on the Iraqi Parliament which determines the budget allocated to the Kurdistan Region which currently stands at 17 percent of the country's budget. "What is strange is that in previous years, the KRG said that it couldn't draft its budget until the Iraqi Parliament had approved Iraq's budget but this year the KRG has already sent its draft to the Kurdistan Parliament without Iraq having endorsed the country's budget yet," said Mohammed Karim, head of the Kurdistan Economic Committee. "If this is a violation why did the KRG do this and if it is not, then why did they not do this before?" A total of 120 billion ID is allocated to a scholarship program that will see Kurdish students sent abroad for education. In addition, the KRG will open three new universities in the areas of Garmiyan, Raniya and Zakho. Alongside this, the agricultural bank and the industrial bank have allocated 50 billion and 30 billion ID respectively. The deficit in the government budget currently stands at 835 billion ID. The bulk of this deficit is due to the unresolved issue of the Peshmarga forces with the Iraqi central government, said Salih. The two main Kurdish political parties are in talks to unify their forces under the KRG. The PM said that his cabinet has endorsed the Ministry of Peshmarga's request for the formation of four brigades of the Peshmarga forces, as a unified force in the Kurdistan Region. A welcomed initiative of this draft budget was that operating costs were reduced by allocations for official travels and the purchase of vehicles for governmental departments. These amounts were added to the salaries of families and dependants of martyrs, Anfal and the disabled.

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Publication:Soma Digest (Suleimanieh, Iraq)
Date:Apr 12, 2010
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