Photo: K24 TV
HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has reached an understanding with Iraq’s federal government on the repayment of debt owed by the KRG, said a senior official on Thursday.
Erbil has also agreed to hand over “all data and statistics” about loans and payroll lists to the federal government, Minister of Finance and Economy Awat Sheikh Janab said.
“An amount [of money] will be [provided] for the Kurdistan Region’s loans,” he told reporters.
Over the past ten days, the KRG reached agreements with the federal government on oil exports and the Region’s share of the federal budget.
The KRG will deliver 250,000 barrels of oil per day to Baghdad as part of an agreement that also includes the payment of financial dues within the framework of the country’s fiscal budget for 2020, KRG Finance Minister Awat Sheikh Janab said on Thursday.
“We agreed on a formula for the payment of debts,” he added, pointing out that “most of our demands have been met in agreements with Baghdad within the draft financial budget.”
According to Janab, both Erbil and Baghdad had “reached an agreement on budget and oil.”
The KRG carries a significant amount of debt, owed to several local and foreign banks.
Additionally, it owes public sector employees significant sums from the salary withholding scheme that ended earlier this year.
The contours of the deal appear to be similar to the 2019 Federal Budget Law, provisions of which the KRG ignored by refusing to send oil to Baghdad.
It claimed that it could not do so because it had to service its debt.
Secretary of the KRG’s Council of Ministers Amanj Rahim said during the press conference that the agreements would be implemented after the federal budget law was adopted and published in the Official Gazette of Iraq.
He added Baghdad would send employees’ salaries monthly in 2020 if the federal budget law was not adopted by the Iraqi Council of Representatives.
Because of Erbil’s refusal to comply with the 2019 budget, the KRG was facing the prospect of difficult negotiations with Baghdad for the 2020 cycle.
These were further complicated by the ongoing anti-establishment protests that have swept central and southern Iraq over the past two months.
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