The Iraqi parliament begins discussing the budget law
Government: new materials to facilitate the implementation of development programs
The Iraqi government announced that it had handed over the draft financial budget law for a period of three years to Parliament, while Parliament confirmed its receipt and the start of the necessary discussions in preparation for its approval.
The government spokesman, Basem Al-Awadi, said in a statement, “In implementation of the provisions of the constitution and the federal financial management law, Thursday evening, the draft federal budget law of the Republic of Iraq for the fiscal years 2023-2024-2025 was officially handed over to the House of Representatives.” He added that «the draft budget law, including new articles and paragraphs that were approved for the first time, is capable of facilitating the implementation of projects, plans and executive and development programs, and the provision of infrastructure and services for citizens».
For his part, the second deputy speaker of parliament, Shakhwan Abdullah, announced the arrival of the draft budget law, saying in a brief statement that “the legislative institution will carry out its duties and responsibilities towards the draft law in accordance with legislative and legal procedures.”
At a time when the process of preparing the Iraqi government for the financial budget for three years raised a legal and political controversy, a legal expert confirmed the permissibility of the government to merge the three-year budget.
Legal expert Ali Al-Tamimi told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the process of merging the budget for the next three years is constitutionally and legally possible, as indicated by Article 78 of the Constitution and Article 4, Paragraph 2, of the Financial Management and Public Debt Law No. 6 of 2019.” Al-Tamimi added, “These legal articles authorized the merger, which is an average of three years; Where the first year is obligatory, and the two subsequent budgets are subject to amendment by Parliament according to circumstances.
And while the budget was sent to Parliament after a delay of about 5 months after the formation of the current government headed by Muhammad Shia’a al-Sudani, in addition to a delay for a full year (2022) without a budget, its sending coincided with the drop in oil prices below eighty dollars per barrel. Political forces express concerns about the possibility of steadfastness in oil prices, given that the Iraqi government set the price of a barrel at about $75, while oil prices fell below seventy dollars a barrel before rising again.
Concerns about oil prices are increasing at a time when the fiscal deficit in the budget is about 63 trillion Iraqi dinars (about 48 billion dollars). In this context, the Iraqi oil expert, Nabil Al-Marsoumi, confirmed in a press statement yesterday, Friday, that “the new taxes in the budget consisted of imposing a 5 percent tax on the revenues from sales of one liter of gasoline, and another 10 percent tax on gas oil, and 15 percent on gas oil.” cent on imported fuel, and 1 percent on black oil sales.
Al-Marsoumi added, “These taxes will lead to an increase in non-oil revenues and a slight reduction in fuel smuggling abroad, but they will lead to an increase in the cost of transporting people and goods, and then a new rise in the prices of goods and services, which may lead to exceeding the annual inflation rate specified in the budget.” 5 percent, negatively affecting the standard of living of citizens. Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani had said that the share of the Kurdistan region in the budget amounts to 12.6 percent, according to the agreement reached between Baghdad and Erbil after al-Sudani’s visit last week to the Kurdistan region, where he spent two days there between the cities of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. link
Source: Dinar Recaps
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