Every year, the Federal Government of Iraq prepares and then approves the federal budget bill in the Council of Ministers without a consultation with Kurdistan Regional Government [KRG} and its institutions, and later it passes the bill to the Iraqi Parliament. This is the violation of principles of federal government, especially the constitutional articles about sharing power and revenue in favor of Iraqi people; these are fixed in the Iraqi Consitution.
We [KRG] highly appreciate the role, honesty, and hard work of Kurdish factions in Baghdad toward protecting Kurdistan’s interests and improving people’s financial condition by putting pressure on Baghdad to guarantee KRG’s financial and legal rights, especially efforts to fix public servants’ payrolls which is a constitutional right of Kurdistan Region. However, any proposal requires expert’s research based on numbers and data by benefiting from previous negotiations with Baghdad. There should be compared analysis to provide policy options based on accurate data so as to be implemented practically. Because a law cannot be imposed on Kurdistan which may harm the interest of the people of Kurdistan. The Kurdish lawmakers should have an accurate number of public employees in Kurdistan and the amount of budget required for the payment and compare these figures to the ones mentioned in the federal budget bill.
Based on this analysis, the amended article A of the bill, which came to our attention via social media, not through KRG’s direct channels, it cannot provide funds for the public employees. It allocates 317 billion Iraqi dinars [ about $270 million] in exchange to 300,000 bpd. This amount is much lower than KRG’s need for payrolls. KRG has 1.4 million payrollers, and we need 880 billion dinars [ about $745 million] a month. The total numbers of the active duty employees is 730,000 and they need 685 billion dinars [about $580 milion] a month. The number of retirees, families’ of martyrs, students, and others within the social service not included in the bill either.
To guarantee the exact amount of financial rights of the employees in Kurdistan, the KRG is ready to negotiate with Baghdad. We reiterate that the KRG is ready to reach an agreement with the federal government.But, imposing a law which is passed unilaterally does not make KRG abide by it.
We, hereby, invite Kurdish lawmakers to Erbil to provide them accurate numbers which have been prepared and compared by experts at the Council of Minister. It helps them to choose the best choice in favor of people of Kurdistan, especially for the middle-class employees who suffered the most because of budget cut from Baghdad.
The Council of Ministers of Kurdistan Region
December 2, 2016