[rtl]Raising the price of fuel in Iraq angers cement manufacturers[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Tehran- bgdad - elziman
Iran's new Oil Minister has appointed Javad Oji as a special envoy for Iraqi affairs, according to the ministry's official news agency. , in a position that his creation comes as Tehran demands Baghdad to pay billions of dollars in dues in exchange for supplying it with gas.
And Shana news agency reported that Oji appointed Abbas Beheshti as "special envoy of the Minister of Oil for Iraqi Affairs." Among his tasks will be “accelerating the process of settling claims regarding the export of gas in cooperation with the Bank.” Central Bank and the Iraqi National Gas Company.
Iraq relies heavily on importing energy from the Islamic Republic, which provides it with about a third of its needs From electric current and gas.
For months, the Iranian authorities have been asking the Iraqi government to pay back dues. According to Shana, the value of the sums owed for exporting gas is about five billion US dollars. Iraq imports gas from Iran according to two agreements signed in 2013 and 2015. Under the first, the Islamic Republic provides 35 million cubic meters per day for Baghdad, and the same amount for the southern regions Iraq according to the second agreement. The two countries also signed an agreement in June 2020 under which Iran will supply electricity to Iraq. According to Shana, it will be one of Beheshti's tasks to "identify the capabilities and capabilities of the two countries in the field of trade." Oil and oil derivatives” and “increasing the mutual presence of the private sectors and investors in the oil industry in the two countries.” . After its unilateral withdrawal in 2018 from the agreement on Iran's nuclear program, the United States reimposed sanctions Harsh economic conditions on Tehran included the oil sector. However, Washington grants Baghdad exceptions that allow it to import energy from Iran. In October 2020, the Secretary-General of the Iranian Petrochemical Derivatives Exporters Association, Hamid Hosseini, pointed out that 60 percent of Iran's fuel exports go to Iraq, according to the agency quoted IRNA official. On Tuesday, the Cement Manufacturers Association in Iraq expressed its anger at the authorities after the increase in subsidized fuel prices In its factories, it increased by 66%, warning that the measure may lead to a rise in cement prices or Close some facilities. The Iraqi Ministry of Oil raised the prices of black oil used in cement factories from 100,000 dinars per ton to 250,000 dinars ($170) per ton. This action has angered cement companies in a country mired in a serious economic crisis that is still leaving scars The war and costly reconstruction is still pending in some areas.
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The deputy director of the Cement Association, Ammar Al-Saadi, said that “the cement industry is the only industry that practices sufficiency.” Self-employment since 2016 until now and has not raised its prices.”
He added, "About fifty thousand people who work directly and indirectly in the industry are now threatened with... Their families are being laid off because of the increase in fuel prices.”
In a statement, the association warned of "heavy losses" for the sector amounting to "millions of dollars", calling on the authorities to reverse its decision.
Companies say that the decision puts them at a crossroads between closing factories and causing thousands of layoffs and damage their families to remain without a source of livelihood and threaten the investment experience in Iraq or increase selling prices to citizens, including Not less than 10 dollars per ton due to the increase in the price of black oil.
The association explained that “this will increase the burden on the population and on the state that is embarking on the reconstruction of the country.” And you want to develop infrastructure projects.”
The subsidized price that cement factories in Iraq enjoy for fuel supply has been approved in return for their commitment to sell cement at a fixed price.
Adham Al-Sharqawi, CEO of the French company Lafarge, which owns two factories in Iraq, said that "the decision to raise The price of black oil will add an additional cost of 35 million euros annually, which may cause severe losses to the company ».
He added that «the company employs more than a thousand Iraqi employees, and these are threatened with losing their jobs because of The company was unable to pay their salaries in the end.
The increase in prices opens the door to imports from neighboring countries, competition for local production and the destruction of the country's economy, according to officials About this industry that has been self-sufficient and has saved hard currency since 2016