Iraqi News Highlights and Points to Ponder Tuesday AM 3-12-24

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Iraqi News Highlights and Points to Ponder Tuesday AM 3-12-24

A Quarter Of A Million Employees In Kurdistan Opened Bank Accounts.. “My Account” Project Attracted 5 Banks

Posted On 03-12-2024 By Sotaliraq  The Kurdistan Regional Government announced that the Islamic Bank of Iraq has joined the “My Account” project, bringing the number of participating banks to 5, confirming the establishment of more than 240,000 bank accounts for the region’s employees.

Statement by the Government of Kurdistan: The Kurdistan Regional Government is pleased to announce that the Islamic Bank of Iraq (IIB) will be one of the participating banks in the (My Account) project, along with other participating banks such as BBAC, Cihan, NBI, RT. The KRG expects other major banks to join by the end of this month.

To date, more than 240,000 bank accounts have been created for KRG employees and more than 120,000 bank cards have been distributed. The KRG’s partnership with banks has led to a significant increase in ATMs, and the employee registration process continues throughout the Kurdistan Region. The project continues its plan to register more than one million government employees by the end of this year.

This step comes as part of efforts to provide more banking services to citizens and paid employees.

]It is also a step towards providing healthy competition in the banking and financial services sector, and banks will be encouraged to increase their branches throughout the Kurdistan region.

The KRG expects to expand its partnerships with participating banks, especially with the introduction of digital payments starting next year.   LINK

For more information about the My Account project, please visit the website: www.myaccount.gov.krd

Salaries of retirees to banks  One Million Employees In “My Account” And Merchants Will Not Carry Cash Next Year.. Prime Minister Of Kurdistan

Erbil – 964  The Prime Minister of Kurdistan, Masrour Barzani, said on Saturday that financial transactions in the region will become electronic within two years, while he confirmed that by the end of next year, one million employees will be in the “My Account” project.

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This came during his attendance at the annual Iraqi banking conference in the region, in the presence of the Governor of the Central Bank, Ali Al-Alaq, a number of directors of banks in Iraq, the region, and Arab countries, and a number of officials.

A statement by the regional government, a copy of which was received by 964 Network:

In the presence of the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, the annual Iraqi Banking Conference was held today, Saturday, October 21, 2023, in the Kurdistan Region.

The conference was launched in the presence of the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Ali Al-Alaq, a number of bank directors in Iraq, the Kurdistan Region, Arab countries, and officials in the federal and regional governments.

The Prime Minister delivered a speech during the conference in which he highlighted the importance of strengthening the banking system. He also spoke about the plans of the ninth ministerial formation to establish a strong banking structure. He also stressed the need to enhance banking coordination and cooperation between the Kurdistan Region and the federal government, in addition to other important topics.

Below is the text of the speech:

In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful

Gentlemen and guests  I welcome you with the warmest welcome.

I am pleased to participate with you in this important conference dedicated to dialogue on the banking system and the development of banking services, especially private banks.

I welcome all distinguished guests, and in particular, His Excellency Mr. Ali Al-Alaq, Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq.

I commend the organizers of this conference for choosing a very important topic for the purpose of discussion and dialogue, especially with regard to the current situation in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. Reforming, organizing and activating the banking sector is an urgent necessity in order to achieve economic development.

Since the duties of this ministerial formation began in the regional government, we have realized the importance of having a strong, active and efficient banking system, so we are working to reform the banking system and establish a modern and solid infrastructure and foundation for the economy of our region.

Here I would like to talk with you about some of our plans to reform the banking sector in the Kurdistan Region.

Starting next year, Kurdistan Region retirees will no longer have to wait in lines for long hours in the heat of summer and cold of winter. Rather, their money will be deposited in their bank accounts on a specific day.

Merchants will also not have to carry large sums of money with them, but will be able to monitor their bank accounts and complete financial services via the Internet. Also, those looking for small loans for various purposes will also find the process easier. As for citizens who wish to send remittances to their relatives, relatives, and families inside or outside the country, they will avoid transferring money through financial transfer companies.

By the end of this year, thousands of public sector employees will be registered within the (My Account) project, and bank accounts will be opened for them in private banks to receive their salaries from, and this process will accelerate next year.

We are determined that, by the end of next year, one million salary recipients will have their own bank accounts. We are working to accelerate the pace of this program, and we have prepared everything necessary in this regard.

During many years within the government, there was a discussion about who should take the lead, us or the banks? And in this government, we decided to take this initiative upon ourselves. Through this work, we will contribute to establishing a sound banking system.

We have decided to support the banks’ expansion plan, through the following program:

After public sector employees have bank accounts, private sector employees must follow in their footsteps… This will make banking services available to thousands of individuals in Kurdistan.

We also encourage banks to expand their office presence throughout Kurdistan, and within two years the area of automated teller machine (ATM) networks will expand tenfold. We are also working to provide electronic payment devices in most Kurdistan markets and stores.

We must acknowledge that to date, public sector banks have not been able to meet the needs of our citizens. Without a doubt, reliance on cash has limited our economic growth and opened the door to counterfeiting and money laundering. This must change. Also, we will provide any possible assistance to private banks, so that they can improve and accelerate their services.

Our goal is to create healthy competition between banks in the Kurdistan Region, and citizens have the freedom to choose their bank based on the quality, development and speed of banking services provided. We have now selected five private banks in the (My Account) project. I hope that other banks will join this project in the future.

The selection of these banks includes clear criteria that were coordinated with the Central Bank of Iraq. For example: These banks have branches in multiple regions, provide their services digitally through mobile phones and advanced technology, own a network of automated teller machines (ATM), and provide digital financial services.

I would like to thank the banks for their continued support of our projects and programs, and I invite them to continue investing in their banking products and services.

Our citizens will see rapid changes in their lives in the future. For example, in the method of payment, and purchasing food and fuel, so that they can easily use bank cards and their services when traveling abroad with peace of mind. Business owners can also benefit from e-commerce opportunities and transfer money for trade purposes.

The government will also see changes in payment and revenue collection processes. Simply put, we work so that our citizens and business owners can access financial services, anywhere and anytime.

We must have our peasants’ and farmers’ money deposited directly into their bank accounts when they sell their wheat and grains to the federal government, instead of having to stand in queues in front of government departments to receive their dues, as is the case now. I hope we will see these changes soon.

I am confident that our banking partners today will become the largest private banks in the country within the next five years.

Here, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to all parties and gentlemen for the help and support they have provided us in this vital mission. In particular, I would like to thank Mr. Ali Al-Alaq, Governor of the Central Bank, and his team for their assistance and support. Under the guidance and support of the Federal Prime Minister, Mr. Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, they continue to coordinate with us and assist us in the areas of implementing banking reforms and treasury management. Thank you for your support and support.

We will continue to coordinate and cooperate with the federal government in combating money laundering and working to stabilize the Iraqi dinar. On this issue, I am pleased with the progress we have made this year in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. There is more work to be done, and we will do our best to do so.

Gentlemen:

In developed societies and countries, having a developed and effective banking system is one of the basic requirements for people’s daily lives. At the same time, the strong modern banking system is considered an effective support and aid to economic prosperity, as it provides financial services and many facilities to business owners and investors.

We can even say that the strength of the banking system in any country or society constitutes a basic principle and condition for economic strength, because the presence of a strong and effective banking system provides a favorable environment for economic and commercial growth.

Banks can play a major role in the economic recovery of any country, because banks regulate the economy of any country, and they are the basic pillar of the economic movement in the country.

There is no doubt that one of the main problems and obstacles that prevent the existence of a strong and advanced banking system in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region is the lack of people’s confidence in banks, and this is due to many reasons, most notably the instability of the political and economic situation in the country, and the widespread spread of corruption. Which made citizens lose confidence in banks and financial institutions.

But we in the Kurdistan Regional Government will provide the banks with all necessary cooperation and assistance, so that we can build trust between banks and citizens, by ensuring that people’s capital and wealth are protected by the banks. Banks must also expand their services. This means that with cooperation and coordination between the government, banks, and citizens, we can rebuild the required confidence in banks.

As a result of political instability, wars, and lack of security in recent years, Iraq and the Kurdistan Region need a broad process of reconstruction and building economic infrastructure in all sectors. Accordingly, the presence of an active and developed system represents a major and helpful factor through which we can continue the process of reform, construction and reconstruction.

The steps taken by Mr. Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, the federal government, and us in the Kurdistan Region are very promising, and we can see great economic progress in the near future with cooperation and mutual support.

[color:fcf0=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0)]Once again, I applaud you for holding this conference, and I hope that it will produce constructive results and recommendations that contribute to the advancement of the banking sector and the economic situation in general.  https://964media.com/238406/

Parliamentary Finance “Knows Nothing” About The 2024 Budget Schedules – Urgent

Politics |Yesterday, 20:05 |Baghdad today – Baghdad  Today, Monday (March 11, 2024), the Finance Committee in the Iraqi Parliament confirmed that it does not know the contents of the 2024 budget schedules, in addition to not knowing the date of sending them to Parliament.

Committee member Mustafa Al-Karaawi told “Baghdad Today” that “the Iraqi government is very late in the issue of sending the schedules of the 2024 budget law,” noting that “the law emphasizes the necessity of sending those schedules before the end of the fiscal year, that is, before the end of the last year.”

Al-Karaawi stated, “Our last meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taif Sami, in which I confirmed that the tables are still with the Council of Ministers and they are supposed to be sent soon to us in the House of Representatives so that they can be reviewed and voted on quickly so that the budget with all its paragraphs and projects is passed,” pointing out that “to Now we do not know anything about the schedules and we do not know exactly when they will be sent.”

More than two months have passed since the new year without the budget for 2024 being completed, amid the need to make some amendments, especially the costs of oil production in Kurdistan, as well as the costs of the salaries of its employees.   LINK