Vote on the budget within days
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Baghdad: Shaima Rashid
And Muhannad Abdel Wahab
The Parliamentary Finance Committee continues its meetings to finalize the draft budget, hoping that its draft will be completed by the end of this week as a maximum, so that a vote on it will take place on the 25th of May, amid expectations that the deficit included in it will remain and be satisfied with making transfers, at a time when deputies demanded fairness in the central and southern governorates in the budget.
A member of the Finance Committee, Jamal Cougar, told Al-Sabah: “The budget deficit is planned and not real, because it is a financial plan for one year,” noting that “there are two approaches within the committee; The provinces and ministries through transfers, and the second direction is that there should be a reduction in the deficit and the transfer procedure.
Cougar believes that the budget amount will remain the same and go to the option of transfers, according to the reasons he specified by saying: “All practical indicators say that oil prices this year will be between 70 and 80 dollars, and therefore our resources will remain the same, and the second indicator is that - through our study For all previous budgets - the government's completion rate did not reach, and the spending did not exceed 80%, and therefore if implementation does not exceed this matter, 20% of the budget will reduce the real deficit, and originally there will be no real deficit," explaining that "the approval of the budget was long delayed, The government will not be able to spend all the budget during the remaining period.
And he continued: “With regard to the deficit in the next two years, this budget will be a budget for one year in terms of schedules, and as schedules, the government is mandated to provide schedules for future budgets, and the government will not have a budget in 2024 without sending schedules to it, and the same is the case for the 2025 budget, indicating that the “finance committee In order to avoid the planned deficit in the budget for the coming years, it will go to the option of adding two restrictions. The first is that this deficit is related to the 2023 budget, and the second restriction is that the government must send the next year’s budget schedules at the end of it, and the same applies to the 2025 budget.
Regarding the date for its approval, Cougar said, "(The State Administration Coalition) set May 17 as a preliminary date for voting on it, but we believe that May 25 is an appropriate period for its approval."
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Shakhwan Abdullah, announced yesterday, Sunday, that the vote on the federal budget law will take place this week.
In addition, a member of the Parliamentary Oil and Gas Committee, Ali Al-Mashkoor, told Al-Sabah: “The budget situation with this amount of deficit will not pass easily, and therefore the Finance Committee went to host all ministers, officials, governors, and local administrations in order to legalize and reduce this deficit.” He warned that a deficit in this way would put the federal government in a "financial dilemma," as he put it.
At the same time, he stressed, "Supporting the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Shia'a al-Sudani by reducing the budget deficit, even if it is at the expense of some ministries or provinces."
In turn, Representative Alaa Al-Haidari said, in an interview with "Al-Sabah", that "there is a great injustice for the central and southern governorates in the budget, and there will be a position for the central and southern deputies, specifically the Basra governorate, which is Iraq's economic basket, and 93% of the budget's imports are from the Basra governorate, and we hope From the brothers in the Finance Committee, and with the support of all deputies, the fairness of the central and southern governorates.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Taif Sami, said, during her hosting of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, yesterday, Sunday: “The file for returning those whose contracts were terminated was included in the 2023 budget,” and pointed out that “the salaries of employees, retirees, and social protection will not be affected,” and she added: “We are continuing By installing contract holders for those who have two service cents.
Edited by: Muhammad Al-Ansari
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