PM Advisor: Budget proposals and naming the negotiating delegation with US

  • 21-04-2020, 22:40
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    INA - Baghdad - Nassar al-Hajj

    Prime Minister Advisor Abdel-Hussein Al-Hanain announced the preparation of a new draft of the General Budget Law, which includes proposals related to reducing waste and controlling expenditures, and while he pointed to the success of the current government in activating the various sectors, revealed naming of the Iraqi negotiating delegation with the US on rearranging the relationship and withdrawal.

    Al-Hanain said in an interview with Iraqi News Agency (INA) on Tuesday: "The team assigned by the prime minister prepared a new model for the general budget law for the current year, and for the first time that the price of oil was approved at two prices, fixed and mobile," noting that the proposed oil price in the budget is estimated at 30 dollars, and it has become much less than the previous budgets according to the changes,”

    He added "the fixed price in preparing the budget will cover salaries and basics, the purchase of medicines, the ration card and energy issues, in addition to other obligations."

    Budget proposals

    He explained that many proposals were included in the budget law, which will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for a vote, and then sent to the House of Representatives, among which is the prevention of charging more than one salary and choosing the person concerned in choosing who deems appropriate, as well as cutting off allocations that were not covered by law.

    “The other proposals included in the budget law are setting a fixed ladder with the highest salary ceiling for all groups, starting from the presidencies (the republic, ministers, deputies) provided that it is from 5 to 6 million as a higher ceiling, then it starts down according to the job hierarchy, in return, The agreement in principle to stop the repayment of the loans owed by the employee to the state-owned banks, as well as the housing fund until the improvement of the financial situation and the return of market activity, and this may require a year or two or more with the possibility of amortization of debts if necessary,” 

    Budget deficit

    Al-Hanain noted that the expected deficit in the fixed part of the budget law for the current year is estimated at 20 trillion, which will be variable with the possibility of covering it from the variable price prepared in the budget law, “which will also have a role in completing the stalled projects, developing the health system, building hospitals, schools, etc. and other the important projects,”

    He pointed to the existence of allocations related to private laws, such as the law of university service, which requires changing an amendment of laws and legislation in Parliament. And that all successive governments before 2003 and beyond were mainly dependent on one resource that was oil, which always gives a state comfort in times of abundance and opens the way for calls to increase salaries and allocations and launch opportunities for appointment, which has had an impact on the country's inflation surprisingly,”

    Economic reform

    Al-Hanain explained that "Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi developed a vision in his government program, based on foundations in the development of the agricultural and industrial sectors as well as the energy sector; and the first year was expressing a clear growth in all sectors and this was published in the government achievement report in numbers and in the names of projects where the percentage exceeded the success of the government program is an average of 76%, which is a very high rate, and the most important thing is that the government put a ruler for measurement and accountability, but those who fear the government’s success resorted to slogans and pitting the street, and they succeeded in doing so, paralyzing all the productive activities almost completely. Al Hanin pointed out that the rate of growth in Iraq Increased by 6 percent b The reason for the support provided by the government of Abdul Mahdi to the agricultural sector and productive sectors, stressing that the cultivated area is estimated at 17 million acres, with plans to increase it to 20 million,”

    “There are factors that encouraged farmers through the model (support to production outputs), including the payment of their dues and the marketing of crops at high prices, which gave in return to the expansion of agricultural areas, which contributed to providing food storage in light of the Corona crisis and the distribution of some ration card items from local production,” he added.

    “For example, more than 5 million tons of wheat were marketed last season and there are record rates for rice production as production has increased 13 times and the matter applies to the rest of the crops, and it is expected that this year will increase due to the availability of confidence in farmers to receive remunerative funds in exchange for their production that made food security Clear The experience of the embargo due to the Corona epidemic was a practical demonstration of the importance of local agricultural production as borders were closed and import almost completely banned.

    And on the reactivation of factories, Al Hanain drew attention to the importance of eliminating bureaucracy and activating the role of partnership with the private sector and providing facilities for Iraqi investors, especially entering into negotiations To sell stalled factories to Iraqi citizens through internal public offering or any other useful method at a promotional price provided it is restarted with the same prepared energy and the operation of the local workforce,

    Noting that “the elimination of armed manifestations comes from the rightful reform catching and providing manpower that would eliminate this phenomenon, as well as reduce and reduce crimes and robberies, which have decreased significantly during the current government’s era after activating some sectors,”

    “The current government succeeded in improving the increase in electrical energy by more than 25% and reducing the programmed parts on the citizens, and it has reached in some regions, especially Basra, to continue throughout the 24 hours. The production of electric energy last summer reached more than 19000 MW and the plan was To be equipped this year with a rate close to 21000 MW, and the situation of the transportation and distribution network that has been suffering from long years of failure to drain the produced energy has been improved,”

    Demonstration file

    Al-Hanain pointed out that the demonstrations that started in the beginning of last October, were intended to be launched from Basra under the pretext of exploiting the power outages and the lack of water, now this plan has been foiled after the government's success in increasing energy supply over 24 hours in addition to providing drinking water to be transferred to Plan B by launching it in other governorates, "stressing that the demonstrations, despite the existence of legitimate demands in the search for job opportunities and fighting corruption, but have stalled the work of the state for more than seven months." He indicated that Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has worked since he was assigned as the president of the government fixed many aspects, including selection Position of the contract to pay the financial dues by efficiency, and accomplish tasks, noting that the majority of employees in the state are paid much higher salaries than the size of the output provided.

     Iraq debts

    “Iraq’s external debt is estimated at 23 billion dollars, distributed between the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the JICA, Kuwait’s compensation, and the rest of the Paris Club’s debts, in addition to other countries, in addition to the internal debts that will not pose any risk,” Al-Hanain added.

    Al-Hanin stressed that Iraq started its negotiations with oil companies before the Corona crisis in order to reduce the amounts that constitute the operating costs of licensing round projects, which are estimated annually at 11 billion dollars. "Noting that the negotiations include in-depth research, especially with the reduction of production ceilings according to OPEC's latest decision, which is not from It is reasonable to pay the companies without production. He explained that Iraq’s commitment to the decision to reduce is dependent on the commitment of all countries to the stipulated shares and the rate of reduction. Maker and satiety oil inventories, particularly India.

    “The file of transferring the sale of black oil to the Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) may constitute the most important decisions that stood to reduce corruption, as such a decision is to return about a billion dollars to the state’s public treasury, and this file may be added to it referring senior officials to integrity (about 100 files) It may be a direct reason to provoke the vengeance of many politicians against Adel Abdel Mahdi and direct media and space channels owned by corrupt people to stir up public opinion and create discontent against the government.

    Gas investment

    Al-Hanin stressed that the actual need for Iraq from the gas is estimated at 5500 MMSCF, the majority of which will be for operating electric power stations to increase production efficiency, as well as to reduce spending on maintenance as well as gas licenses as well as strengthening Iraq’s sovereign position in this vital aspect, noting The investment of Iraqi gas according to the existing contracts and plans will not exceed its capacity (3500 MMSCF), which means that Iraq will still need about (2000 MMSCF) in order to meet the local need of gas. He indicated that Iraq will have to import gas from Iran, Qatar or Russia Or any country in the world to cover the local need, weighted an investment of all Iraqi gas within two years.

    He suggested that Iraq open its doors to global gas, whether Russian, Iranian or Qatari, by laying pipelines through its territory to Europe.

    Strategic dialogue with Washington

    Al-Hanin pointed out that the US side practaclly agreed on the vision of the Prime Minister in the redeployment and withdrawal.

    "The message received by the Iraqi government includes the opening of a strategic dialogue in the upcoming June, pointing out that the government named the Iraqi negotiating delegation, which will be headed by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives of the army, the National Security, Intelligence, and others concerned with this file.

    He explained that the last US message was referring to the redeployment of their forces out of Iraq and that Iraq wants to build balanced relations with all countries and did not allow its lands to be used as a springboard to threaten countries.

     Partial lockdown

    He pointed out that the decision to lift the partial lockdown came based on the estimates of experts, including experts from the World Health Organization - WHO and specialists in epidemics," stressing that there is a periodic review of the decision to lift the partial lockdown and will take decisions according to developments related to the epidemiological situation.