PM Barzani prioritizes agriculture sector
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Saturday visited the Zirarati plain in Erbil to speak with the farmers in the area, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.
PM Barzani’s visit coincides with the start of the wheat season. In his visit, the PM drive a combine harvester and met with a number of farmers to discuss issues they are experiencing, the statement added.
In the meeting, the Prime Minister stressed the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) commitment to focus on the agricultural sector and to market their products in regional and global markets.
Regarding recent amendments to the KRG draft budget law, PM Barzani described the actions as oppressive, dishonest, and against the interest of the Kurdistan Region, according to the statement.
He reaffirmed his intention to not allow such conspiracy to succeed.
Moreover, the Kurdistan Region Premier reiterated that it is “unfortunate” for a Kurdish party to be involved in this conspiracy.
"Worse yet, they consider the reduction of authority of the Kurdistan Region as an achievement for themselves,” PM Barzani said. He reassured the farmers that these attempts against the Kurdistan Region will not succeed.
"We’re backing Kurdistan’s farmers by investing in dams, technology and access to new markets," Barzani later tweeted following the visit.
We’re backing Kurdistan’s farmers by investing in dams, technology and access to new markets. pic.twitter.com/RmK9yYqQhc— Masrour Barzani (@masrourbarzani) May 27, 2023
On May 25, some members of the Finance Committee in the Iraqi Parliament introduced several amendments to the federal draft budget law.
An amendment to Article 13, paragraph 2, point C, restricts the Iraqi Ministry of Finance from sending the Kurdistan Region financial entitlements on a number of conditions, including the delivery of 400,000 barrels of oil per day and non-oil revenues earned.
Another amendment added five additional conditions to Article 14. Point 8, for example, requires a 15-day timeframe to resolve disputes between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad. If unresolved, the Kurdistan Region's financial entitlements will be suspended. Furthermore, point 9 ensures equal salary payments among the provinces, and gives Baghdad the right to intervene if discrimination occurs.
Point 10 obliges the KRG to stop oil extraction from certain fields, limiting production to 200 barrels per day. The Iraqi government may suspend financial entitlements if the agreed-upon oil delivery is not met. Point 11 pertains to the Iraqi government's participation in managing border crossings, while Point 12 requires the KRG to allocate at least 10% of its budget to settle employee salary arrears.
In February, Erbil and Baghdad reached an agreement on Iraq’s 2023 budget.
Moreover, in April, Baghdad and Erbil signed a temporary deal to resume oil exports from the Kurdistan Region.