KRG has ‘alternatives’ if Baghdad does not pay its salary share: Spokesperson

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has “alternatives” in case the Iraqi government does not send its salary share, the government’s spokesperson said on Wednesday.
author_image Halgurd Sherwani

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has “alternatives” in case the Iraqi government does not send its salary share, the government’s spokesperson said on Wednesday.

In its regular session on Wednesday, the KRG cabinet decided to send a formal request to its Iraqi counterpart, asking for its monthly share—320 billion IQD ($268 million)—which has yet to be released.

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“If Baghdad does not send the 320 billion IQD, the KRG would have other options and alternatives,” Jotiar Adil, the KRG spokesperson, told Kurdistan 24 on Wednesday, adding, “But we firstly wait for Baghdad’s response to send the region’s budget share.”

In August, the Iraqi government and the KRG agreed on a nearly $270-million monthly payment by Baghdad as a partial restoration of the autonomous region’s share of the budget in return for 250,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) from Kurdistan.

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“This subject [320 IQD] is not related to the recent passing of the budget deficit law as it is the Kurdistan Region’s entitlement,” Adil added.

In early November, the Iraqi parliament passed the fiscal deficit law, allowing the government to make a domestic loan of $10 billion to pay its state pensions. The law passed without Kurdish consent over a clause that requires the KRG to submit all of its oil and non-oil revenues in order to benefit from its partial share, less than the $780 million the government needed to function monthly.

The spokesperson reiterated that the KRG is willing to find “legal and appropriate measures” to pay the salaries of its employees.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany