Lawmaker attributes the delay in budget approval to rising deficit

Lawmaker attributes the delay in budget approval to rising deficit

A member of the Iraqi parliament stated on Sunday that the ratification of the country’s 2024 budget is being delayed because of an increasing deficit, raising concerns about the country’s economic future.

According to Finance Committee member Lawmaker Adi Awad, “amending the budget law is on hold” because of the massive 80 trillion dinar (USD 56.3 billion) deficit. “”Awad clarified to Shafaq News Agency that the current emphasis is on cutting back on public spending.”

He clarified that a lower project ceiling for 2024 compared to 2023 results from this focus on austerity measures. As a result, only current activities will get money from the budget; new projects will not be included. The budget for 2024 will not include any new initiatives.” Because of the budgetary limitations and the lack of non-oil earnings, Awad cautioned that this choice “will deprive many governorates of anticipated projects”.

Awad stated that the unsolved deficit issue makes it unlikely that the budget would be enacted before Eid al-Fitr. However, this runs counter to a statement made on Saturday by Bassem al-Awadi, a spokesman for the Iraqi government, who stated that the budget plans will be approved by the cabinet in less than two weeks. The local governments will get the monies allotted to them, Al-Awadi said, stressing that “salaries are fully secured and amount to 69 trillion dinars.”