Iraqi News Highlights and Points to Ponder Friday AM 3-1-24


Iraqi News Highlights and Points to Ponder Friday AM 3-1-24

American Sanctions And Regional Countries Contributed To Its Destruction.. What Is The Secret Of Disrupting Iraqi Factories?

Posted On 03-01-2024 By Sotaliraq   Industrial City in Diwaniyah Poles without wires  02-29-2024

37 thousand factories stopped working in Iraq, a number that reflects the extent of the great deterioration that the private sector is suffering from as a result of the absence of government plans to improve it after 2003, which contributed to the destruction of this sector to be added to the rest of the sectors. Which was subjected to systematic destruction, according to observers.

As for those concerned, they confirmed that the current Prime Minister, Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, relies heavily on the private sector, and that large numbers of factories have been restarted over the past two years, until the currently operating factories have reached 30,000 factories, and there are serious and signs of restoring the remaining numbers that have been suspended.

Deterioration and penalties

The private sector in Iraq is witnessing a significant deterioration due to the absence of government plans to improve it, which has made it continue to decline continuously and its contribution to the national economy is very small, according to the economist, Omar Al-Halbousi.

During his speech, Al-Halbousi saw that the entry of politicians into the private sector made most of its fields monopolized and turned it into “a window to increase the wealth of a certain group of politicians, who exploited the private sector to form private institutions that are effective for money laundering as well as economic facades.”

According to Al-Halbousi, this is an indication of the American sanctions that affected the Iraqi private sector, in light of the absence of financing from private and government banks, and the monopoly of government initiatives for certain parties to the exclusion of others from the people.”

Foreign interventions also contributed to exacerbating the decline of the private sector, according to Al-Halbousi, who added: “Regional countries worked to destroy all Iraqi sectors in order for Iraq to remain a market for the sale of their goods, in light of the lack of decision-making sovereignty and the national will to advance the Iraqi economy.”

The above contributed, according to the economist, to a decline in job opportunities provided by the private sector, as well as a decline in wages despite long working hours and the burdens imposed on workers in the private sector, and in most cases workers are laid off for no apparent reason.”[/size]

The US sanctions on the banking sector also contributed to the lack of job opportunities and the decline in wages,” says Al-Halbousi.

In addition, according to Al-Halbousi, there is the abandonment of a large number of workers, so that the crisis of deterioration of the private sector and its reduced contribution to the gross domestic product continues, with a lack of job creation. Although the basis of the economic renaissance of countries is the private sector, as it is the most flexible and quickest to respond to changes, governments Successive projects from 2003 until now have contributed to the destruction of the private sector, adding to the rest of the sectors that have been subjected to systematic destruction,” according to the economic expert.

The suffering of the Iraqi worker

Iraqi workers face challenges and problems related to their legal rights and social and health security, which requires unifying efforts and redoubling work to develop concrete and real plans that address the deterioration of their conditions and the status of industry in their country.

On December 3, 2023, the Iraqi Prime Minister, Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, announced that the retirement and social security law for workers in the private sector would enter into force, after the Iraqi Parliament voted on it, in May 2023, in a step that the government described as essential within the economic reforms that it promised. and to guarantee the rights of workers in this sector.

In this context, the Vice President of the Federation of Trade Unions in Iraq, Rahim Al-Ghanimi, stated that “the minimum wage for a worker is 450 thousand dinars per month, and the working time is 8 hours a day, 6 days a week.”

Al-Ghanimi explained, during his speech to the agency, that “the laws pertaining to the working class are broken, as the Iraqi worker does not receive the same rights as his peers in the Arab world, even though the Iraqi worker is distinguished by many skills.”

He stressed that “many factories, laboratories, and companies are idle, including the spinning and weaving factory in Kut and Babylon, the mixed sector, the industrial sector, and light industries. There is no local industry and even vegetables are imported, and what is currently operating are restaurants and hotels.”

Foreign labor employment offices contributed to the loss of the Iraqi worker’s job, and most of those brought to the country are not technicians and experienced, but rather their level is lower than the Iraqi worker, according to Al-Ghanimi.

Foreign labor

In a previous interview with the agency, the head of the General Federation of Trade Unions in Iraq, Star Denbos, pointed out that “there is chaos in the file of foreign workers, which is estimated at more than a million workers, and they entered the country randomly without conditions, restrictions, and supervision from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which had an impact.” “It negatively affects the percentage of unemployed people in Iraq.”

In turn, the legal expert, Ali Al-Tamimi, clarified the legality of the presence of foreign workers in Iraq by saying that “no law has been enacted specifically for foreign workers in Iraq, and the applicable law is Labor Law No. 37 of 2015 and Foreigners’ Residence Law No. 118 of 1978.”

These two laws stipulate that “the worker must obtain a work permit as a condition of presence, a passport, an entry visa, and other security conditions. The violator is usually fined an amount not exceeding $500 and then deported according to the decision of the investigating court,” according to Al-Tamimi.

During his speech, Al-Tamimi pointed out that “the presence of these workers, whose number is estimated at one million, without plans, is similar to the large number of imported cars, and has an impact on the economy, criminal security, unemployment, and the exit of money.”

He stressed the need to “legislate a special law for this that details all aspects of their presence and deportation, and information indicates that large numbers of them work without residency, and there is no solution before the judiciary other than deporting them to their countries.”[/size]

Investment obstacles

In previous statements, a member of the Parliamentary Investment and Development Committee, Hussein Al-Saabari, confirmed that investment in Iraq faces obstruction from ministries, departments and institutions in the country, including the problem of obtaining approvals from the Ministry of Industry to establish industrial factories, stressing the necessity of providing government support for projects and investments to employ the workforce and benefit from it. of money inside the country instead of going abroad.

A member of the Parliamentary Economy, Industry and Trade Committee, Soran Omar, stated that “Iraqi industry needs to grow, which requires the assistance of the Ministry of Industry by allocating a good budget for it, facilitating investment in the industry, and developing factories by providing fuel, electricity, and land for them.”

Omar added: “As well as issuing the law on partnership between the public and private sectors, which the government sent to protect the rights of both sectors in the partnership, and that the government pay attention to economic security and implement the law to protect the local product, and at the same time, control the border crossings, and punish smugglers, who have caused serious damage to the industry.” And Iraqi agriculture.”

He noted that “the Prime Minister himself was Minister of Industry until 2018,” noting that “the current Minister of Industry was Minister of Planning in the previous government, so it is expected that Iraqi industry will grow.”

Iraq needs factories in various industrial sectors, whether in medicine, food, construction, textiles, electrical, etc., in addition to services and production, according to the head of the Federation of Iraqi Industries, Adel Akab.

Regarding the classification of the importance of the sectors, Akab stated, “Medicine and food come in first place, but in return there is a need to build more than 4 million housing units, and these require various construction materials, so it is not possible to exclude one sector over another because all of them are important to the country.”

He pointed out that “Iraq has good purchasing power, and there is a thirst for true national industry that is distinct from the imported one, and meets the citizen’s ambitions,” noting that “the government has a vision to revive the industry, and has activated decisions that were previously suspended, and we hope to fully translate its vision into reality.”

Government interest

In this aspect, the chief advisor to the Federation of Industries, Aqeel Raouf Ahmed, confirmed that “the Prime Minister is relying heavily on the private sector in establishing one million housing units during the recent meeting with him, as Iraqi products will have priority in equipping these units.”[/size]

Regarding the reality of the factories and attempts to restore the stopped ones, Ahmed explained to the agency, “There are approximately 67 thousand registered factories, and – during the past two years – 30 thousand factories were restored with those that were previously operating, but there are still 37 thousand factories that have stopped working.”

He continued: “There is seriousness to return all of them to work, as it was requested during the meeting with the Sudanese to exempt raw materials from taxes, to contribute to the restoration of factories, reduce electricity and fuel, protect the product, own land for industrialists, and exempt accumulated taxes, and all of these requests were implemented within just two days.” .

He pointed out that “the decisions have been taken, and are awaiting their implementation, but the Prime Minister confirmed his intention to implement them, and if the stopped factories are restarted, all other factories will be activated, as the factories complement the others, which will lead to employing the workforce and reducing unemployment.”

Unemployment and the labor market

On the other hand, the spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Planning, Abdul Zahra Al-Hindawi, said, “The unemployment rate in 2021 reached 16.5%, which is a higher percentage than in previous years, due to the repercussions of the Corona pandemic, including the cessation of economic activities and development activities.”

During his speech to the agency, Al-Hindawi believed that unemployment rates would decrease, in light of the measures that were taken during the past two years, 2022 and 2023, including many appointments and the resumption of work on many projects, in addition to the start of new projects, which provided thousands of job opportunities for young people, concluding his speech by saying: “ A survey is currently being conducted to determine the new ratios.” LINK

Provoking Points to Ponder on Decisions 

Full maturity … is achieved by realizing that you have choices to make.  – Angela Barron McBride

Wherever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.  – Peter Drucker

Life is just a series of trying to make up your mind.  – Timothy Fuller

Life is just an endless chain of judgements. . . . The more imperfect our judgement, the less perfect our success.  – B. C. Forbes

To know just what has do be done, then to do it, comprises the whole philosophy of practical life. – Sir William Osier

Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.  – Jawaharlal Nehru

Somehow we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do.  – Jose Ortega