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The differences between the Minister of Finance and the Parliamentary Finance Committee reached a bone-breaking stage as a result of administrative and financial procedures carried out by the ministry, and Parliamentary Finance did not acquaint them with them.
Informed sources revealed that a controversy had reached the point of an altercation and quarrels between the head of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Haitham al-Jubouri, and the Minister of Finance, Ali Allawi.
The debate took place, on Sunday, during a meeting that included the two parties, in the presence of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi and Speaker of Parliament Muhammad Al-Halbousi, in addition to the Minister of Planning.
The sources pointed out that the Minister of Finance “transgressed” in unacceptable terms to the Parliamentary Finance Committee and the House of Representatives, prompting MP Haitham al-Jubouri to respond to him, accusing him of “failure and inability to manage the ministry and not having correct visions that advance the economic and financial file.”
Al-Jubouri accused the Minister of Finance of relying on what he described as "corrupt tools" over the past period in managing financial affairs.
According to the sources, the argument between Al-Jubouri and Allawi developed into a quarrel.
In turn, the representative of the Saeron Alliance, Riyadh Al-Masoudi, explained the type of dispute between the Parliamentary Finance Committee and the Minister of Finance, Ali Allawi, noting that the dispute is over two forms, the first is professional and the other is political.
Al-Masoudi said, "The Parliamentary Finance Committee is now on two main disagreements with the government and its finance minister, Ali Allawi, and that these two disputes are concentrated in two aspects, the first professional and the other political."
He added that «the professional dispute focuses on three topics: the first is the delay of the government and the Ministry of Finance to delay sending the 2020 budget to Parliament, and this means that the government takes measures far from the oversight of the House of Representatives. The second disagreement is that the condition of Parliament when the government is allowed to borrow locally and abroad is to send a paper to Parliament within 60 One day, the period has passed, and the government and the Ministry of Finance are indifferent to sending it to Parliament. ”
Al-Masoudi added, "As for the third issue, the ministry has made several changes to the higher positions in the Ministry of Finance without referring to the Finance Committee or informing it of those changes."
Al-Masoudi pointed out that "the political difference is that the Al-Kazemi government is a participatory government, and therefore communication must be with the political blocs, especially in the financial and administrative fields, and this did not happen as the ministry works unilaterally without taking the opinion of the political blocs, especially on topics related to the country's investment and financial economy." .
For his part, a member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Jamal Cougar, considered the "desire" of the federal government to send the current year’s budget as a “preemptive step” aimed at obtaining an opportunity to present a new borrowing law.
Cougar said, in a press statement, that «the federal government's desire to send a budget for the current year to the House of Representatives, although the fiscal year is nearing its end, is because of its need for a new borrowing law», indicating that «the internal and external borrowing law that was enacted within the House of Representatives Previously, it had two ceilings, one of which was time and the other was financial. ”
Cougar added that "the financial ceiling has been set at five billion dollars externally, and 15 trillion dinars locally," pointing out that "the time limit represents the expiration of the law when the new federal budget comes to the dome of Parliament."
He pointed out that «according to these ceilings, the government decided to adopt a pre-emptive step and create a new opportunity by sending the budget to the House of Representatives in order to obtain space for presenting another law to borrow and obtain additional funds to fill part of the fiscal deficit in the next year’s budget.
In addition, Hussein al-Uqabi, a member of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, criticized the government's intention not to implement its commitment to issue a comprehensive economic reform law for the country.
"The government pledged to approve the economic reform paper and submit it to Parliament for approval during the vote on the internal and external borrowing law," Al-Uqabi said.
He added, "The government, after 70 days of approving the borrowing law, has not submitted a single line or developed a plan to address the economic crisis due to the Corona pandemic."
"The government continues to disavow and violate the law, and it has failed in the only challenge for which it came, which is to pay employees' salaries, pass the budget and end the economic crisis," Al-Uqabi said.
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Parliament and Financial Disputes: Two Professional and Political Reasons
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