Iraqi parliament to vote on controversial budget bill
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The members of the Iraqi parliament are set to vote on the country’s three-year budget bill on Thursday following a delay due to changes in a number of clauses, the legislative house announced.
The session will be held at 1:00 PM on Thursday in the capital Baghdad, according to the meeting’s agenda published by the Council of Representatives.
The announcement comes as recently the parliament delayed the session on voting on the budget bill after the Finance Committee introduced new changes, including obliging the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to repay the deducted amounts from public salaries – a measure the government claims was forced to take after Baghdad refused to pay its share from the federal budget.
The committee has not dedicated any amount in the budget to cover the deducted amounts, estimated to be millions of dollars.
Individual Kurdistan Region provinces can directly receive their financial entitlements from Baghdad in case the regional government fails to equitably share the revenues, according to the draft budget’s amended Articles 13 and 14.
The changes have drawn severe backlash from the KRG, saying they are against the spirit of the agreements struck between the two governments.
Erbil has refused to abide by any changes that contradict the April 4 deal to resume oil export as well as the agreement of political parties to form Prime Minister Mohammad Shia’ Al-Sudani’s cabinet.
The management of oil and gas as well as the Region’s share in the budget have been among the main points of over a decade-old disagreements between Erbil and Baghdad.