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Shafaq News/ For the third month in a row, the employee salaries crisis continues in the Kurdistan Region, while the regional government intends to send a delegation to Baghdad this week to re-raise the salary issue with the federal government.
The salary crisis is the cause of a sharp dispute between Erbil and Baghdad, and has caused successive strikes, the most prominent of which are the teachers’ strikes in Sulaymaniyah, which are still continuing.
Last September, the Federal Council of Ministers voted to lend the Kurdistan Regional Government an amount of two trillion and 100 billion dinars for the current fiscal year, to be paid in three equal installments of 700 billion dinars for each batch, starting last September.
However, the regional government decided once again to send a delegation to Baghdad in the middle of this week in order to settle the amount of the "cash loan."
The Ministry of Finance and Economy of the Kurdistan Regional Government announced, the day before yesterday, Sunday, that it had sent the trial balance report for the past three months (July, August, and September) to the Federal Ministry of Finance.
A statement from the ministry received by Shafaq News Agency added that the report included all revenues and disbursements for the aforementioned three months in the region according to a database and clear numbers.
Baghdad treats the region as a "directorate"
The former representative in the Kurdistan Regional Parliament, Abdul Salam Barwari, believes that “the delay in salaries is due to the fact that the budget is prepared in a centralized manner, not a federal one, and the failure of many Iraqi politicians to understand the difference between federalism and decentralized governance.”
Barwari explained to Shafaq News Agency, “The Federal Minister of Finance asked the region to send a settlement of accounts for the past three months in order for her to agree to disburse the amount. This was a deal with a directorate and not a region, even though what will be sent is a loan.”
Political pressure paper
In turn, the Kurdish political analyst, Yassin Aziz, says, “The region’s salaries have ceased to be a legal and administrative file between Erbil and Baghdad, and have become a political pressure card exercised by some influential forces that influence the Coordination Framework government.”
Aziz added to Shafaq News Agency, “The region, according to officials’ statements, adhered to all the standards requested by the federal government, by submitting financial tables and accounts for imports and spending.”
He asserts, "The delay in salaries has become a pressure and an embarrassment to the regional government, and has led to the continuation of the boycott in areas of the region, and the cessation of the educational process in some places, in addition to the decline in commercial activity."
He points out that "the ideal solution to end the salary crisis or any other outstanding issue between Erbil and Baghdad is to create political pressure, whether through the relations of the Kurdish parties with influential parties in the framework government, or through external pressure that has influence and influence on the federal government."
The Kurdistan Regional Government has previously requested the support of the international community “to obtain the region’s constitutional rights,” pay financial dues, implement agreements, and not violate the rights of its people.
Two things to end the matter
For his part, Representative Amir Al-Mamouri says, “The issue of the region and the center is an issue that lacks transparency and the process of disclosures between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Finance for the region.”
Al-Maamouri added to Shafaq News Agency, “The House of Representatives approved the federal budget law for the years 2023, 2024, and 2025, and it contains paragraphs that include the work mechanism, the relationship between the region and the center, and how to secure salaries.”
He confirms, “The amounts for salaries are insured, and there are two basic paragraphs. Either the salaries will be the same as the rest of the governorates until the issue is completed with the process of auditing receivables and submitting settlements, or the salary will be the same as the salaries of the rest of the employees in other ministries and governorates that are not organized into a region that is centrally linked to finance, as well as the Federal Prime Minister.” .
He explains, "In this way, the data of all employees can be included and completed, and their connection becomes direct, as is the case in the rest of the governorates, and this solves much of the problem."
He points out that "the Federal Ministry of Finance says that it has received about five trillion dinars, and this amount needs to be settled, because the advance or disbursement is total, so the region must submit data to the Federal Ministry of Finance so that the latter can begin disbursing the advance that relates to operational and investment matters as well as salaries."
Mamouri continues, “The Parliamentary Finance Committee called for dialogue sessions between all the relevant ministries as well as the region in the House of Representatives, and an initial meeting was held between the political blocs for the purpose of overcoming these positions.”
He affirms, "Citizens, whether in the Kurdistan Region or in the rest of the governorates, are all guaranteed by the Constitution in accordance with Article 14, and they are equal in rights without discrimination. Therefore, citizens must be kept away from political differences and their rights and entitlements must be disbursed through dialogue and negotiations between the two sides."
The suspension of payment of employee salaries in Kurdistan has caused repeated protests and strikes, while the education sector is considered the most affected and influential by these strikes, and Masrour Barzani’s government is trying to persuade teachers to resume teaching.
Barzani called on teachers and teachers who are on permanent strike in some areas of the region to return to their classes and begin giving lessons and prevent the academic world from going to waste.
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