KRG cuts over 10,000 illegal salaries amid ongoing reform process: finance ministry

The KRG council of ministers building Kurdistan Region's Erbil. (Photo: Archive)
The KRG council of ministers building Kurdistan Region's Erbil. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s finance ministry on Monday announced that it had cut over 10,000 illegal salaries as part of the government’s reform package regarding the payment of salaries, allowances, and pensions.

The order from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Finance came after the government’s biometric system detected that 10,609 salaries were being paid illegally.

Such payments were discovered as “twice or more” by the government’s biometric system, which detects illegal double salary payments.

The ministry’s order explained that over 21,000 individuals were listed as employees, when, in reality, their actual number was 10,609.

The move by the finance ministry comes as part of the KRG’s ongoing process of reform, which includes a comprehensive review of the government’s payrolls to halt the payment of any illegal dual salaries.

The financial reform aims not only to address corruption generally, but also to aid the Region’s economy, which suffers from a crisis due to the global coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing collapse in oil prices.

“This bill is in response to Kurdistanis’ demands for fairness across the public sector –- in salaries, pensions and benefits,” Prime Minister Masrour Barzani announced in January 2020, as the legislation was approved by the Kurdistan Parliament.

The law, consisting of 19 articles, focuses on introducing reforms in retirement, salaries, allowances, grants, and benefits within the new government's work program in the region.

According to the bill, the KRG Council of Ministers is required to send a detailed report on the reform process to the Region’s legislators every three months.

Read More: KRG to send detailed report on progress of reform project to regional parliament

The KRG sent its previous report on the progress it is making in implementing those reforms to the Kurdish parliament last September.

Editing by Laurie Mylroie