ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – On Thursday, Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, in a meeting with the Council of Ministers, said, “In addressing the shortcomings in management and finances of Kurdistan Region, we have to reform the Region's economic system and take several austere measures."
He added, “We understand the difficult condition of citizens. We are also aware of the needs of the different ministries and provinces; however we cannot print money, nor can we borrow. To get through this crisis, we need general cooperation from all sides.”
“The financial crisis in Kurdistan Region also affects other countries relying on oil revenues,” Barzani emphasized.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that continuous budgets cut by the Iraqi central government, the fight against Islamic State (IS), hosting over 1.8 million Syrian refugees and Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs), and the worldwide decline in oil prices all contribute to the difficult economic situation in Kurdistan Region.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani said that austerity measures alone will not lead in reforming the economic system of Kurdistan Region.
Talabaani stated that it is necessary to eliminate wage disparities by stopping the extra wages of those who receive more than one salary from the KRG governmental sectors and reevaluating salaries provided for those who receive wages without working.
“To balance between revenues and expenses, the KRG is going to reduce financial support for fuel quotas in the electricity sector," Talabani revealed.
The KRG Council of Ministers is planning to launch a workshop for all ministries to discuss current economic conditions on Saturday, January 23 in Erbil.
(Reporting by Gulala Khaled; Editing by Benjamin Kweskin.)