KTFA Members “News and Views” Thursday 6-6-2024

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Clare:  Nearly 80 trillion dinars disappear from the 2022 and 2023 budget.. Deputy: “No one knows where it went.”

6/4/2024 – Baghdad

Member of the Parliamentary Integrity Committee, Hadi Al-Salami, revealed today, Tuesday, that about 57 trillion Iraqi dinars remain from the 2023 budget, and no one knows where it went.

Al-Salami said, “The 2023 budget amounted to 206 trillion, the actual expenditure was 148 trillion, and the remaining 57 trillion. No one knows where that retained money went.”

He added, “There are 22 trillion in rounds in the 2022 budget as well, and no one knows where it went,” noting that “there are problems and irregularities regarding the issue of actual revenues and actual expenses in the budget tables.”

He explained, “The House of Representatives made many observations on the budget schedules that were passed without warning.”   LINK

GEGDinar: This is simply devastating. The entire world is looking at Iraq, and if they haven’t been able to show that they can get ahold of their endemic corruption, then what. If I’m looking at investing in Iraq, or a company holding an infrastructure contract with the Iraqi government, I’m going to seriously second-guess my decision and look to exit stage left. If what Frank says is true and they decide to come out with an operational budget at 1,310 rate with no Investment Budget, their credibility will take a massive hit. imo

BM532:  I am fine with all of these “negative” articles on economists and “members” stating the disappearance if large sums of money and a less that satisfying budget. Kuwait did the same thing saying xyz and then come out with the new rate! IMO. I always said I would look for silence or little to know news, then what would be considered negative news, then BAM – the world celebrates. IMOx100

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DeepWoodz:  Ain’t no way. Parliament doesn’t control the money in the budgets.  I don’t even believe this is true. 

TSM:  Exactly my thoughts as well….WHO was allocating the funds to projects, etc…Seems like the floor is still pretty dirty and maybe instead of Sudani taking all of the victory laps he should have been paying more attention to the day to day operations of the gov’t…IMO

DeepWoodz:  Fake news. Agreed. Back to the real stuff. Census almost done. Great timing. 

PJSMan:  I also agree ….it is fake news……if Sudani let 57 trillion  Dinars slip out the door on his watch…..while the dinar is at a program rate……then he does not have good systems in place …….sounds like controlled mis information…….OR If it is true, but Sudani already located the 57 Trillion …..and this is to expose Parliament there is no way he sets up a conference call/meeting to tell people that “57 Trillion is missing and I hope we can find it in the coming days” 

GEGDinar: So the way I look at this is what does this 57 Trillion that has disappeared tell people like the WTO, IMF, BIS, Word Bank, U.S Fed, global contractors, etc. about the condition of Iraq right now? Can they really be trusted? Or are they seeing a corrupt society that is unwilling to change? If Sudani and his government cannot resolve this case of the missing 57 trillion in “The Coming Days” then important entitles that I’ve mentioned will probably want to slam on the emergency brakes and bring everything to a halt.  I guess the next few weeks will show us how serious Sudani and his anti-corruption will be at going after whomever has perpetrated this crime. I pray this gets resolved quickly. If not, it’s back to square one.

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Harlequinc3: Old timers, help me out here, I don’t think I’m crazy. I distinctly recall way back when we thought the budget mattered under Maliki, a very similar situation came up — X amount of dinar has gone missing from the leftover budget! The surplus is all gone! What can we do???

And I have a very strong memory of Saleh at the behest of Shabibi calmly replying there was a ‘slush fund’ of sorts that the excess funds from previous budgets went in to — a set of separate accounts from what Parliament had — they weren’t lost, they were removed out of Parliament’s hands, for all intents and purposes, to protect them. That ‘discretionary fund’ is what they used to run the government the next year because they could never get a real budget activated — the operational budget Frank was talking about.

This was back when they were meeting day after day, walking out to protest Maliki, and never had quorum. I wanna say 2010-ish? Anyway, I am almost positive I remember the same scenario way back when, and a couple days later here’s Saleh explaining, wow, don’t worry, we’re not THAT inept.

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Clare: Representative Hadi Al-Salami raises a parliamentary question about the fate of 57 trillion dinars in the 2023 budget

6/4/2024

Member of the Parliamentary Integrity Committee, Hadi Al-Salami, revealed today, Tuesday, that about 57 trillion Iraqi dinars remain from the 2023 budget, and no one knows where it went.
Al-Salami said in an interview with Al-Maalouma, “The 2023 budget amounted to 206 trillion, the actual expenditure was 148 trillion, and the remaining 57 trillion. No one knows where that retained money went.”

He added, “There are 22 trillion in the 2022 budget as well, and no one knows where it went,” noting that “there are problems and irregularities regarding the issue of actual revenues and actual expenses in the budget tables.”

He explained, “The House of Representatives made many observations on the budget schedules that were passed without warning.”   LINK

Clare: An Iraqi economist criticizes the 2024 budget: operational par excellence

6/6/2024

Thursday, economic expert Nabil Al-Marsoumi criticized the federal budget for the year 2024, which is the largest in the history of Iraq, describing it as operational par excellence, considering that it is not part of the development plan.

 Al-Marsoumi told Shafaq News Agency, “The budget has abundant funds, amounting to 211 trillion Iraqi dinars, and this is a very large amount, but as is the case in previous Iraqi budgets, it was allocated to social care, salaries, and other expenses, and therefore it is an operational budget that does not change the quality and structure of the Iraqi economy.” .

 He added, “The budget is dependent on oil and the extent of the backwardness is large in the sectors of industrial and agricultural production and operational services. The budget was not part of the development plan, as there is supposed to be a development plan in the country every four or five years.”

Al-Marsoumi continued, “There is no strategic tool that distributes oil revenues to the people and to the governorates, as the financial allocations to the governorates range between 7-20% of the budget.”

He pointed out that “operational spending took up 74% of the approved budget, with about 95% on oil export imports, while investment spending amounted to 55 trillion dinars, including 1,321 projects, 470 of which were lagging in implementation due to the lack of financial allocations. The government is also completing implementation.” Major projects related to infrastructure and other commercial and industrial projects that have important future economic roles, such as Al-Faw Port and the development road.”   LINK

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Clare: Plasschaert’s replacement raises controversy.. Who is he?

6/6/2024   Baghdad – 

Arab reports revealed today, Thursday, that the United Nations has nominated the permanent representative of the Sultanate of Oman, Mohammed bin Awad, to fill the position of head of the UN mission in Iraq.

This comes after the UN Security Council unanimously approved ending the United Nations political mission in Iraq, and ending the duties of the head of the mission in Iraq, Jeanine Plasschaert.

A report by the Emirati network Eram, followed by Mawazine News, said, “There are some unnamed political parties that had reservations about the candidate, Muhammad bin Awad, and demanded that the United Nations bring in a foreign, non-Arab person for this position,” without disclosing the reasons for the rejection.
The Iraqi government had asked the Council, in a letter dated May 8, to end the mission of the United Nations Mission in Iraq at the latest by the end of 2025.

According to this request, the UN Security Council voted unanimously, last Friday, to end the United Nations mission in Iraq, which was established In 2003, which aimed to coordinate humanitarian efforts and post-war reconstruction efforts.
According to the resolution, the United Nations extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for 19 months until December 31, 2025, and then developed a “transition and liquidation plan” in consultation with the Iraqi government to transfer its tasks and withdraw employees and assets.   LINK