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[ltr]Parliamentary Finance expects to resolve government appeals to budget within a month[/ltr]
[ltr]Baghdad / Firas Adnan
The Finance Committee in the House of Representatives ruled out on Monday the delay of the Federal Supreme Court in issuing the final decision on budget appeals, pointing out that the government's objections were not on expected items, noting that its amendments to the draft increased its articles from 67 to 78 articles.
A member of the committee, MP Mueen Al-Kazemi, said that "all the requirements of the budget law have ended, the latest of which was publication in the Official Gazette, and all that remains is to launch instructions for its implementation."
Al-Kazemi added that "government appeals will not affect the budget, except for the paragraphs that the Federal Supreme Court decided to suspend its implementation until the appeal case is resolved after a request from the Council of Ministers."
He pointed out that "the Council of Ministers resorted to challenging some paragraphs of the budget is normal because the parliament made fundamental amendments to the draft before voting on it."
Al-Kazemi pointed out that "the draft that we received from the government included 67 articles, and these articles increased after the amendments to 78 articles."
He pointed out that "the Finance Committee conducted transfers estimated at 8 trillion dinars from ministries to provinces or other institutions."- My note: Money positioned but not spent yet.
Al-Kazemi said that "the government considered that some of the paragraphs added by parliament are not within its competence."
He pointed out that "the appeals in total filed by the government were divided into 10 paragraphs within 12 articles, six of which the Federal Supreme Court did not see a justification for suspending their implementation."
Al-Kazemi stressed that "what was issued by the Federal Supreme Court a few days ago to suspend the implementation of some articles is not a resolution of the lawsuit filed by the Council of Ministers."
He predicted that "the court will issue its final decision on the budget within two weeks or a month at the latest, and will not delay in resolving the case," stressing that "the decision that will be issued is decisive and not subject to appeal and will be respected by all, the government and the House of Representatives."
Al-Kadhimi stated that "our expectations in the Finance Committee were that the government would challenge materials, but other than those it objected to in court."
For his part, MP Raed al-Maliki said, "My appeal to the budget does not include the articles that the government objected to, but rather came within the draft and was voted on by parliament."
"These articles include granting governors and funds the authority to contract directly as an exception to the instructions for the implementation of government contracts and an exception to any controls attached to them," al-Maliki said. - My note: It's about time...
He pointed out that "my appeal also included the issue of extinguishing advances, and the article related to opening the door to investment and partnership with the private sector in accordance with instructions issued by the Council of Ministers."
"This investment opens the door to the seizure of important government projects that represent state assets, especially since we have a special law on investment, and there is no need to grant the Council of Ministers the right to issue instructions in which it sets exceptions," al-Maliki said.
MP Ali al-Bandawi said, "The law gives the Council of Ministers, MPs or others the right to challenge the budget."
"The State Administration Coalition, which is the largest component within the House of Representatives, will take any decision taken by the Federal Supreme Court on the appeals it received on the budget from the government or other parties," al-Bandawi said.
"Most of the paragraphs voted on by the House of Representatives were objectively and formally correct and compatible with the provisions of the constitution," he said.
He pointed out that "the vote on the law took place by a majority of the members of the House of Representatives," noting that "the law has received the support of various parties within the State Administration Coalition."
Al-Bandawi sees no justification for "the continued disruption of the budget, whether in terms of issuing instructions for its implementation or challenging its articles."- My Note: I think he is revealing there is a small disruption here.
"This law has been suspended for about seven months, and last year it was not passed, and the appellants should have understood the risks of delay more, but ultimately resorting to the judiciary is their right," he said.
"This budget will be for three years and will support the stability of the government's work by finding the legal ground for disbursement and carrying out service and investment projects," al-Bandawi concluded.
The House of Representatives had previously voted on the three-year budget law, with annual amounts estimated at 200 trillion dinars, most of which were allocated to operating expenses, with a deficit of up to 64 trillion dinars, and the government says that the economic situation in Iraq is able to address this deficit.[/ltr]
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