ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s international debt has exceeded USD $111 billion due to wars waged by the former regime against neighboring countries, the current war against the Islamic State (IS), and the drop in oil prices.
Majida al-Tamimi, a member of the Finance Committee in the Iraqi Parliament, recently told reporters Iraq’s debt had exceeded $111 billion as the government suffers from a $26.6 billion deficit in the 2017 budget.
Tamimi blamed the government for money Iraq owed.
“The country does not need any external loans if the financial and administrative corruption has ended, the smuggling of oil is controlled, and the revenues of the border crossings are well-managed,” he explained.
In a statement released on Aug. 2, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board approved the disbursement of $824.8 million to Iraq upon completion of the second review of the country’s standby arrangement
In July 2016, the IMF approved a $5.34 billion arrangement for Iraq, which aims to assist the country with economic reforms and restore fiscal balance.
“Implementation of the budget-sharing agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) would put both the federal government and the KRG in a better position to address the shocks to the Iraqi economy,” the statement read.
Ardalan Nureldin, a Kurdish MP in the Iraqi Parliament, told Kurdistan 24 that according to the constitution the KRG should have received its share of the international loans.
Nureldin highlighted Baghdad’s insistence on depriving the Kurdistan Region of its financial dues, including its share of the national budget.
“Despite the exclusion of Kurdistan from the distribution of loans, the Region is obliged according to the law to contribute 17 percent to pay back Iraq’s loans,” the MP said.
The Kurdish MP also mentioned this was another injustice by Iraq against the Kurdistan Region.
Meanwhile, Japan on Saturday agreed to lend Iraq up to $195 million for a project “to help repair a thermal power station in the southern province of Basra,” Reuters reported.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany