Bondlady’s Corner – Iraq Economic News and Points to Ponder Sunday Evening 3-23-24


Iraq Economic News and Points to Ponder Sunday Evening 3-23-24

Tlm724 Administrator Bondlady’s Corner

Central Bank: Relentless Efforts To Support Prices And Reduce The Dollar Selling Gap

 The first 03/24/2024   Baghdad: Rula Watheq seeks to   provide support to achieve stability in the general level of prices and   reduce the gap between the official dollar exchange rate and the parallel market, while indicating  that   weak financing has led to the difficulty of citizens obtaining loans through the housing initiative.

The bank’s deputy governor, Dr. Ammar Hamad Khalaf, told “Al-Sabah”:  The bank continues to provide dollars to banks and individuals at an amount of $3,000 per traveler during one month, indicating that there are other channels for citizens who need foreign currency, by providing electronic payment cards, which are available.

Any citizen can obtain them if the appropriate conditions are met, and therefore these cards can be used for travel or any service from abroad at the official exchange rate. 

He explained that  Iraq has   large reserves exceeding 100 billion dollars and the  ability to provide foreign currency to any beneficiary within the country, whether a citizen or a company, and  all of these are sources of power possessed by the Central Bank, adding that  the gap occurring in the market at the present time is due to the exchange rate of  speculators and the request to finance  illegal transactions.

Khalaf explained that the dollar is available at the official exchange rate for official transactions, to a very large extent, and with tools through external financing or electronic payment tools provided by the Central Bank, stressing that reducing the Central Bank’s initiative for housing loans has led to the difficulty of citizens obtaining them.

He pointed out that the Central Bank had previously reduced the amounts for its housing initiative in accordance with its policy because it controls the monetary supply, as it is an initiative for a specific period and not continuous, adding that it is the duty of banks to mobilize individuals’ savings and  provide financing for them to purchase housing units or  other needs of citizens.

Khalaf noted the need to focus on banks that play their role as financial intermediaries between savers and borrowers, noting that  there is difficulty in obtaining initiative funds from citizens due to the large demand on their part to purchase housing units as a result of the shortage in them, offset by limited allocations in this area.    

Iraq And Kuwait Are Discussing Enhancing Trade Exchange And Encouraging Investment

Economy | 03/24/2024  Mawazine News – Baghdad   The Acting Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mohsen Al-Mandalawi, and the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Iraq, Tariq Abdullah Al-Faraj, discussed today, Sunday, mechanisms for enhancing trade exchange and encouraging investment between the two countries.

The media office of the Acting Speaker of the House of Representatives stated in a statement received by Mawazine News: “The Acting Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mohsen Al-Mandalawi, discussed, during his meeting in his office today, the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Iraq, Tariq Abdullah Al-Faraj, the overall situation in the two countries, the latest regional developments, and a number of… Files of mutual interest.

He added, “The meeting discussed enhancing trade exchange between the two brotherly countries, establishing a free market to stimulate this sector, and stressing the need to work hard to encourage investment within sustainability standards, in addition to continuing to hold joint committee meetings and exchanging visits between officials of the two countries to resolve some outstanding issues, in addition to exchanging Security information to reduce the threat of terrorism and the spread of drugs.

He continued, “During the meeting, there was also talk about the Kuwaiti National Assembly elections scheduled to be held early next month.”

Al-Mandalawi expressed his “wishes for Kuwait’s success in this important achievement, and continued progress and prosperity in various fields.”

Parliament Votes On The Draft Law On The Fourth Amendment To The Industrial Investment Law

Economy | 03/24/2024  Mawazine News – Baghdad  The House of Representatives voted, today, Sunday, on the draft law on the fourth amendment to the Industrial Investment Law.

A Mawazine News correspondent said, “The House of Representatives voted on the draft law on the fourth amendment to the Industrial Investment Law for the Private and Mixed Sectors No. (20) of 1998.”

Automation And Strong Internet…A Necessity For Reforming The Banking System

 The first 03/24/2024  Baghdad: Hoda Al-Azzawi   The Finance Committee of the House of Representatives is conducting a very important investigation into the existence of fraudulent deductions from retirees’ salaries by informal associations, while  experts in finance and economics unanimously agree on the necessity of  a rapid move towards automating banking operations and   preparing their infrastructure in terms of strengthening the global network “the Internet.”

 “As a necessity to reform the banking system.  The Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Finance Committee for the fourth session, Dr. Ahmed Al-Saffar, in an interview with Al-Sabah, praised “the steps of the Parliamentary Finance Committee to follow up and monitor the banking system and electronic dealings,” and added, “But I believe that the issue needs other steps to prepare the infrastructure and emphasize restoring confidence.” Citizen in Iraqi banks. 

He stressed that “the banking sector in general needs radical reform and restructuring of the large number of unnecessary private banks that are not doing their proper banking work,” calling for “keeping the real banks   that are doing their work and  supporting them and  providing facilities to them.” 

He pointed out that “the other point is the emphasis on the issue of the Internet, because electronic dealing is completely linked to the presence of a strong Internet in order for electronic dealing to take place,” stressing that “the citizen – until now – does not trust putting his money in banks, and the process needs to build confidence among the citizen and those…

Then raise awareness and work to achieve or implement financial inclusion for the citizen by delivering banking services easily to him, starting with the category of employees, retirees, care salary holders, or others, and then moving to other categories.”

He stressed that  “the Financial Committee’s follow-up of violations and transgressions to steal retirees’ funds is a very important step.”

As for the expert in the field of anti-corruption, Saeed Yassin Moussa, he said in an interview with “Al-Sabah”:

 “The system for paying the salaries of employees and retirees needs periodic review, and  one of the best ways is to adopt automation and use smart cards to pay and settle salaries, fees, and other financial activities, including commercial ones.” Pointing out that  “forgery is expected in paper processes before salaries enter the electronic system.

 An example of this is what happened in Anbar, the Martyrs Foundation there, and the Retirement Authority departments in the governorates.”

He explained,  “The National Retirement Authority has an excellent experience in preparing the infrastructure for the retirement referral system,  which begins electronically from institutions through the presence of the Authority’s teams in ministries and public institutions in preparing pension transactions for employees, with the employee referred for retirement being given a review card to complete the retirement transaction at the Retirement Authority.” the public”. 

Moussa stated that  “in these aforementioned steps, the possibility of forgery operations is very narrow and even non-existent, but the defect lies in the transactions of the wounded and martyrs through the forgery operations that were discovered by the Integrity Commission in cooperation with the Public Retirement Service, and  I deem it necessary to subject all those who They were referred to retirement from this category for review and scrutiny, knowing that forgery operations are carried out   through multiple mafias with the complicity of some employees in the relevant departments and   forging the signatures of other employees.” 

He added, “The process of fraud on smart cards remains.

Here, it is necessary to  protect the electronic system from hacking,  review the banking system, and      preserve the confidentiality of the retiree (private code), while  subjecting the relevant associations to periodic auditing, and   deterring those who attempt to seize the funds of employees and retirees in loan and advance operations.” And sale in installments.

Last week, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Atwan Al-Atwani, hosted, along with the committee members, the Director General of Rafidain Bank, Ali Karim, and the Managing Director of the International Smart Card Company, to discuss electronic transactions.

 A statement from the committee indicated that “the meeting discussed the issue of  dealing with (unlicensed) associations,  installment sales operations, and  receiving advances, and the emphasis on  preventing any tampering in the sales process,  verifying the information of the advance applicant, and  protecting customers’ money from fraud.”   

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