TNT – “Tidbits From TNT” Friday 12-22-2023

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Tishwash:  Parliamentary Oil: Approval of the Oil and Gas Law depends on one condition

Member of the Parliamentary Oil and Gas Committee, Kazem Al-Touki, revealed the approval condition for approving the oil and gas law.

Al-Touki said {to Al-Furat News} that: “Approval of the oil and gas law at this stage depends on the Kurdish interlocutor, if the center’s entitlements are provided and the ceiling of demands that complicated the law are waived.”

He explained, “The law in general solves all problems in the budget and revenues, each according to its entitlement.”

Al-Touki pointed out that “this matter depends on the political situation, stability and trust between the center and the region.”  link

Tishwash:  Using national currency needed for respecting state sovereignty, says Iraqi PM advisor

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The financial advisor to Iraq’s prime minister on Wednesday stressed the need for all internal transactions to be conducted using the Iraqi dinar, telling Rudaw that using anything other than the national currency is a disrespect to the state’s sovereignty.

The Iraqi dinar has been losing value against the US dollar for several months, leading to a surge in prices of basic goods and consequent outcry from the Iraqi public. The depreciation has been attributed to the smuggling of dollars out of Iraq, mainly to neighboring Iran.

The Iraqi government has for months been trying to control the fluctuations in the exchange rate between the dinar and the US dollar. The value of one dollar currently sits at around 1,530 dinars in the currency markets of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, which is significantly higher than the value set out in the federal budget.

One of the requirements for any country to respect its sovereignty is that there should not be two currencies within the economy,” Mudher Mohammed Saleh, the financial advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani, told Rudaw.

“The purpose of foreign currency is to deal with it outside the [national] economy, so it is not possible to consider the existence of a price in the dollar and a price in the dinar: one rises and the other falls. No monetary policy can control such a situation,” he added.

The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) in September announced that all the transactions inside Iraq would be made using Iraqi dinars starting in 2024.

The advisor stressed that all internal transactions, including the payment of financial entitlements and salaries, need to be made using the Iraqi dinar, while external transactions can be carried out using foreign currencies at their specified exchange rates.

The 2023, 2024, and 2025 Iraqi federal budget, passed in June, set the exchange rate of $1 to 1,320 Iraqi dinars. The ongoing smuggling has prevented the suggested value from being reached.

“The exchange rate will be fixed, especially since it has been fixed in the federal budget law for three years,” said Saleh.

The discrepancy between the dinar value set in the budget and the exchange markets has compounded the economic woes of citizens, who typically receive their salaries in dinars but are forced to deal with more expensive prices due to the devaluation of the currency on the black market.

The US in July banned transactions with 14 Iraqi banks for allegedly violating its rules. The move further dropped the value of the Iraqi currency.   ink

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Tishwash:  Sudanese Advisor: The dollar is declining, prices are stabilizing, and expectations are optimistic

Advisor to the Prime Minister for Financial Affairs, Mazhar Muhammad Salih, commented today, Thursday, on the optimistic expectations of the International Monetary Fund regarding the growth rate in non-oil GDP in Iraq, and while he announced a decline in the annual growth rate of prices, he identified a factor that contributes to the stability of the general level. For prices. 

Saleh said: “According to what was announced by the statement of the International Monetary Fund expert delegation in its recent consultations with the official Iraqi side: it is expected that the growth rate in non-oil gross domestic product will reach approximately positive 5%, and in our estimate that these optimistic expectations reflect great economic dynamism in The movement of growth of the real and service sectors outside the oil sector, as a result of the renaissance of investment in the construction sector, infrastructure, digital services and various interconnected activities,

Which is an increase in growth equivalent to approximately twice the growth of the population, which means it has positive effects on the prosperity of individual income because growth is linked to the level of employment and use of resources. humanity and reducing unemployment rates.

He added, “Price spikes may occur individually, but what concerns us is the stability of the general level of prices. Therefore, it is noted that the increase in growth in price rates is decreasing, as the annual growth rate of prices decreased from 7% last January to 3.7% last month.” November of this year compared to November of last year.

Saleh continued, “On the other hand, the exchange rate in the unregulated market has not witnessed new rises. Rather, today it is in a gradual decline. The more regular the work of the compliance platform is and the more banks respond to the requirements of combating money laundering in a transparent manner, the more transfers will increase through the external transfer platform, which is the responsible platform.” On meeting the private sector’s foreign currency needs by 85% to finance trade.

He noted that “the needs of travelers are met through two ways: credit cards and cash dollars, and that private banks have imported cash dollars for themselves to meet the needs of their customers from their dollar accounts in amounts that have exceeded tens of millions of cash dollars in recent days, and they are continuing normally based on the regulations.” issued by the Central Bank of Iraq in this regard.

He pointed out that “the commodity market has begun to be supported by a diversified commodity supply through the movement of additional government imports, especially food, medicine, building supplies and spare parts, all of which are supplied at a fixed exchange rate of 1,320 dinars per dollar, which is the factor that contributes to the stability of the general price level and counters market noise.” Illegal and irregular exchange accounts for only 10% of foreign currency trading.”   link