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- THURSDAY, 09-28-2023, PM 11:28
- TAYSEER AL-ASADI
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The Prime Minister, Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, chaired the thirty-ninth regular session of the Council of Ministers, during which developments in the situation in the country were discussed, and the implementation of files related to various issues at the national level was followed up, and the progress of implementing the priorities of the government program, in addition to discussing the topics on the agenda, and issuing... Relevant decisions and recommendations.
In celebration of the National Day of the Republic of Iraq, the Prime Minister directed the suspension of official working hours on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, in all ministries and state institutions, on this occasion, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Media Office.
In the field of continuing financial and administrative reform steps, the Council of Ministers decided to commit to all state contracts implemented inside Iraq being in Iraqi dinars, except for those opened by an external documentary credit, which will be according to the agreement between the two parties and for the value of the documentary credit only.
The Council directed that the Ministry of Planning inventory all previous state contracts that were contracted in the currency of the US dollar, with the exception of those for which an external documentary credit was opened, and prepare a table of them to be sent to the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank with the amounts of these contracts due, provided that the Ministry of Planning determines the limit. The highest monthly amount that the Central Bank must cover in US dollars, according to the receivables received from the contracting parties. The Central Bank covers these receivables at an exchange rate of (1320 dinars) per US dollar, deposited in the account of the Ministry of Finance, for the purpose of covering the monthly payments to pay these contracts, and according to Work arms and exchange release orders that meet release controls.
Regarding Iraqi borrowers from government banks (including the Iraqi Trade Bank) in US dollars, the Council of Ministers directed that these banks commit to repaying their loans at an exchange rate of (1,320 dinars) for every US dollar from the borrower, provided that the Central Bank covers these loans in US dollars. It is paid to the lending bank, and this procedure applies exclusively to loans that were made before the issuance of this decision.
The Council of Ministers also approved the recommendation of the Ministerial Council for the Economy (230204 Q), which included postponing the Ministry of Transport’s claim on its debts related to flooring fees and fines incurred by the General Iron and Steel Company and rescheduling them; Payment will be made when the aforementioned company’s factories are operational, and the Ministry of Transport/General Company for Ports of Iraq has taken all necessary procedures with the beneficiary parties and established a working mechanism that ensures the speedy removal of goods from the ports. To avoid fines or floor fees due to delays in issuing them.
As part of the Council’s follow-up of the energy sector and progress in implementing paths of reform, development and exploitation of gas wealth, the Council of Ministers approved the recommendation of the Ministerial Council for Energy (23083 of 2023) regarding the gas gathering and compression project in the Nasiriyah oil field.
The decision included: Approval of the recommendation of the Central Committee for Review and Approval of the Referral in the Ministry of Oil at its session held on August 6, 2023 regarding the request of Dhi Qar Oil Company, one of the companies of the Ministry of Oil, to approve the referral of the gas gathering and compression project in the Nasiriyah oil field under the custody of the coalition (Oil Projects Company / Ministry of Oil and Oil Company) Italian PEG), at $272 million, which is higher than the estimated cost by (7.3%) according to the Dhi Qar Oil Company’s letter dated July 26, 2023.
Iraqi-Jordanian electrical interconnection project
With regard to the electricity sector, the Council of Ministers approved what was stated in the letter of the Ministry of Electricity dated September 4, 2023, regarding amending the sales contract by amending and renewing the contract related to the Iraqi-Jordanian electrical interconnection project, which was signed in 2019, to suit the period. New equipment and amending the terms and conditions, while maintaining the price equation contained in the energy sale contract, which includes the sale of electrical energy from the National Electricity Company in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the General Electric Power Transmission Company - Central Region / Ministry of Electricity, to purchase energy for a period of 36 months after completing the connection. Between the two Al-Risha transformer stations in Jordan and the Al-Qaim transformer station in Iraq, at a voltage of 400 kV.
Within the affairs of the oil sector, completing the export infrastructure and developing Iraq’s capabilities in this field, the Council of Ministers decided to place the Ministry of Finance as a deposit with the Iraqi Trade Bank in the value of the total cost of the two submarine pipelines project (4 and 5) and the new marine platform amounting to 1.265 trillion dinars, which is included in the Ministry’s investment plan. Oil/Basra Oil Company for the year 2023.
It was also decided that the Ministries of Planning and Oil shall be committed to the total cost of the aforementioned project and the annual allocations within the investment budget of the Ministry of Oil for the years (2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026), and that the Ministries of Oil and Planning shall notify the Ministry of Finance/Accounting Department of the financing due to the contracting company according to the amount of achievement and the approved contexts, and to finance the Ministry of Oil. The financial account of the company from the deposit mentioned in Paragraph (1) above, and the cancellation of Cabinet Resolutions (29 of 2020), (6 of 2021), and (83 of 2022).
In addition to following up on the provision of fortifications, requirements for security work and extending stability, the Council of Ministers decided to approve an exception to the contract for the implementation of the Misk Wadi Al-Tharthar project (purchasing cameras and concrete towers and establishing fortified points). From the direct contracting methods stipulated in the Instructions for Implementing Government Contracts (2 of 2014), and from the armament controls issued by the National Security Advisory regarding arming the security services, due to the tactical and strategic importance of the project.
The Council also decided to approve the issuance of the Air Defense Institute system, based on the provisions of the Defense University Law for Military Studies No. (4) of 2016, and the provisions of the Constitution, taking into account the observations of the Legal Department in the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers.
Winter agricultural plan
The Council continued to follow up on the implementation of agricultural plans, the implementation of methods to combat water scarcity and drought, and the adoption of modern methods of irrigation, as the Council of Ministers approved the recommendations of the minutes of the meeting of the joint permanent committee between the Ministries of Agriculture and Water Resources regarding the winter agricultural plan approved for the season (2023-2024).
The Council directed that the Ministry of Water Resources adhere to the winter agricultural plan based on the forecasts of international meteorological centers, and that the winter planting and seed distribution season begin on October 1, 2023, and that the Ministry of Water Resources begin increasing water releases on November 15, 2023, and re-review the indicators. Winter agricultural plan for the period from November 15, 2023 to November 30, 2023.
It was decided to determine the areas covered by irrigation in the winter season, so that the areas covered by irrigation through rivers and streams would be one and a half million dunums, and the areas for which the water share would be secured through underground wells at an amount of four million dunums, on the condition that modern irrigation systems be used, and those who were negligent would be held accountable and not included in the next agricultural plan when using Irrigation is Saiha.
The decision also included focusing agriculture on rivers and streams, preventing agriculture within the borders of marshes and floodplains in the governorates of Wasit, Maysan, Basra, Diyala, and Dhi Qar, granting interest-free loans to purchase modern irrigation systems (pivot, fixed, and drip systems) and solar energy systems, and subsidizing the price of fuel to the Ministry. Water resources and the release of fuel shares to address conditions of water scarcity, and continuing the campaign to eliminate violations, especially the campaign to remove unauthorized fish lakes.
According to the decision, the council directed the formation of joint committees from the water resources directorates, agricultural directorates, agricultural committees, agricultural associations, and police directorates in all governorates, and local governments, to follow up on the commitment of farmers and peasants to the irrigation areas approved in the plan above, and to hold transgressors legally responsible for their transgression, and the two ministries are not committed and are not responsible. In considering or promoting any requests regarding compensation in the event that this happens, with setting bi-monthly meetings whose dates are agreed upon, in coordination between the directorates of the Ministry of Agriculture and the water resources directorates in all governorates.
The Council approved the issuance of the Second Amendment System to the System of the Baghdad School of Expressive Musical Arts (16 of 1985), which was audited by the State Council, based on the provisions of the Constitution and the provisions of the Ministry of Culture Law (17 of 2001).
Within the framework of cultural relations, the Council of Ministers approved the reopening of the Iraqi Cultural Center in the German capital, Berlin.
The Council also considered a number of files and issues presented on the agenda, and took the necessary decisions regarding them, which included granting the Ministry of Justice the authority to exclude from the mechanism used in selection, contracting with law firms, with fees commensurate with the value of the case, and the committee composed of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to September 12, 2023, following up on the arbitration decision in the Horus Company case, to unify legal, political and technical efforts.
The Council approved the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the establishment of non-resident diplomatic representation with the Republic of Moldova, through our embassy in Bucharest, based on the provisions of Articles (25) and (26) of Foreign Service Law No. (45) of 2008, and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations for the year/ 1963, and the approval of the recommendation of the Ministerial Council for Human Development (23028 B for the year 2023), which includes the approval of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention in Iraq (2023-2030).
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