TNT – Iraq News and More…..From TNT on Sunday 10-1-2023

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CandyKisses:  Parliamentary mobilization to oust the governor of the Central Bank: failures and promises not implemented – urgent 

Baghdad today – Baghdad 

On the twenty-fourth of January of this year, the Iraqi Prime Minister, Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, reassigned Ali Mohsen Al-Alaq to the position of Governor of the Central Bank, more than two years after his dismissal from the same position that he held for about six years, from 2014 until 2020.

As the US dollar exchange rate crisis worsened and it continued to rise against the Iraqi dinar, in addition to the rise in the interest rate on loans granted by the Central Bank, voices rose within the Iraqi House of Representatives to demand the dismissal of Governor Ali Al-Alaq from his position and replace him with another to address the high exchange rate and financial and economic reforms after Al-Alaq’s failure. In resolving these crisesAccording to the opinion of the representatives.

In this regard, independent MP Hadi Al-Salami confirms, today, Sunday (October 1, 2023), the continuation of the parliamentary movement aimed at removing Ali Al-Alaq from the duties of managing the Central Bank of Iraq.

Al-Salami says, to “Baghdad Today,” that “many representatives have different observations regarding the management of the relationship with the Central Bank of Iraq. There is a major failure in this administration, and despite all the promises and actions taken by Al-Alaq, the central bank is still not in control of the issue of the rise in the dollar exchange rate, and there is exacerbation of this crisis.

His term as president of the bank witnessed a number of financial failures, the most notable of which was the sinking of 7 billion Iraqi dinars in the money store inside the Central Bank building in central Baghdad, and the discovery that other large sums of money had been damaged as a result of humidity and rainwater.

The representative believes, “There are comments on the issue of raising interest on housing loans. This matter will reduce the issue of applying for these loans, which aim to reduce the housing crisis. This matter has caused great public anger, as such measures exacerbate the housing crisis and do not reduce it, despite This crisis has worsened in all Iraqi cities, with the significant rise in real estate prices.”

While economic affairs researcher Nasser Al-Kanani, MP Al-Salami, shares the opinion by saying that increasing the interest on housing loans will exacerbate the housing crisis in Iraq, he confirmed in an interview with “Baghdad Today” that “increasing the interest on housing loans will significantly reduce citizens’ contributions to… Obtaining these loans, the interest will be very large, and it is certain that this step opposes all efforts to reduce the housing crisis, but rather it will be a factor in exacerbating the crisis.”

The researcher continues by saying, “Solving the housing crisis in Iraq requires presenting multiple offers to citizens and employees regarding housing loans, through the loan repayment period, the interest rate, and other encouraging factors to push the citizen to withdraw loans in order to buy housing for himself. This is how the crisis is solved and managed, not “The opposite.”

Between 2006 and 2014, Ali Al-Alaq served as Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, during the first and second Maliki governments, before he was named acting governor of the Central Bank for a period of 6 years starting in 2014, in addition to being named president of the “Joint Council to Combat Corruption in Iraq.”

Al-Alaq (62 years old) holds a higher diploma in financial sciences from the University of Baghdad. During his tenure as Governor of the Central Bank, Iraq witnessed many crises related to the management of the bank, the most prominent of which was the scandal of fake import documents, according to which the dollar was obtained from the currency auction at the Central Bank, without the companies concerned importing any materials into Iraq.

This comes in addition to the scandal of the drowning of more than 7 billion dinars as a result of rainwater in the Central Bank’s warehouse in 2018, and the destruction of other amounts due to humidity. The step of writing Al-Alaq’s name on banknotes of denominations of 250 dinars and 1000 dinars, contrary to the approved Iraqi law, led to mentioning The governor’s statement and his signature on the currency led to increasing controversy, along with the file of the Central Bank’s financing of government deals marred by corruption.

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Tishwash:  Parliamentary Finance hosts the Ministers of Planning and Finance regarding the delay in budget implementation

The Parliamentary Finance Committee decided to host the Ministers of Planning and Finance; To find out the reasons for the delay in budget implementation.

The head of the committee, Atwan Al-Atwani, said during the committee’s hosting of the governors: “There is a clear failure in releasing financial allocations to the governorates and ministries,” noting that “the committee will host the ministers of planning and finance this week to find out the reasons for the delay in implementing the budget.”

He stated, “The current government has raised the slogan of a national service government, and we will not allow the problem of delaying the disbursement of financial allocations to continue,” pointing out, “Our insistence on approving the tripartite budget came to enable the governorates and ministries to implement their plans and programs and to avoid stopping funding at the end of the fiscal year.”

He stressed “the necessity of releasing petrodollar allocations to oil-producing governorates,” pointing out “the importance of simplifying procedures for approving programs and plans to accelerate the launch of project implementation.”  link

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Tishwash:  Advisor Mazhar Saleh: Sovereign guarantees encourage the business environment in Iraq

The financial advisor to the Prime Minister, Mazhar Muhammad Saleh, explained that the sovereign guarantees relate to covering the issue of default by sectoral entities, stressing that these guarantees are one of the factors of stability and encouraging the business environment in Iraq in a sustainable manner.

Saleh said that the sovereign guarantees granted by the state to various contracting parties express the government’s guarantee that the obligation between the contracting parties will be fulfilled in the event of the primary debtor’s failure to pay.

He added that sovereign guarantees are related to covering the issue of default on the part of sectoral entities, specifically government entities benefiting from the processing, contracting and construction work for investment projects with a strategic dimension. Sovereign guarantees can also cover all types of obligations and pledges in extensive detail, pointing out that sovereign guarantees are before they are granted in the law. The general budget is considered an integral part of financing by borrowing, and one of the components of public debt, in accordance with the international standard in describing government debt and the method of calculating it.

He pointed out that the granting of sovereign guarantees is carried out with great precision by the executive authority and in accordance with the strategic importance of guaranteeing major development projects and encouraging major companies and the business sector to work in our country.

He continued: Therefore, the sovereign guarantees granted by the state to the entities that prepare or implement projects constitute one of the factors for stabilizing and encouraging the business environment in Iraq in a sustainable manner, and removing obstacles and risks that impede development and economic progress, according to the strategic priority that requires granting sovereign guarantees or guarantees.

Prime Minister, Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, confirmed earlier, during his meetings in New York, that the government will provide sovereign guarantees in the budget law to establish industrial and agricultural projects in Iraq.  link