TNT – “Tidbits From TNT” Tuesday 2-27-2024

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Tishwash:  House of Representatives: {Oil and Gas} is technical and can be passed

The Parliamentary Oil and Gas Committee pointed out that the oil law is one of the important laws that concerns all of Iraq and not the Kurdistan region alone, noting that its draft contains controversial points that need to be stopped, and despite this, the law can be passed.

Committee member Ali Al-Mashkoor explained, in an interview with Al-Sabah, that “there are seven points of contention regarding the oil law, some of which are administrative, some of which are professional, and the law cannot be proceeded with without being cleared by both parties,” indicating that “one of the administrative disputes in the law is the desire to The Kurdish side should have the right to veto the issuance of decisions.”

Al-Mashkour added, “The region’s percentage in the budget came from the export value of oil, and now there is no export of the region’s oil, not even production,” noting that “the financial share is an entitlement separate from the oil entitlement that the region is supposed to pay, but it will constitute a future obstacle in the budget.” Although it is a fixed share, as it is the right of the Kurdish citizen.”

Al-Mashkoor expressed his optimism in passing the oil and gas law, and said that “the draft can be legislated within an understanding and complementary process, but imposing opinions is incorrect,” explaining that “the law was returned to the government without revision or amendment, even if there were disagreements on some of its points.” “. Al-Mashkoor stated that “the oil law guarantees the rights of all governorates in the available proportion,” pointing out that “some governorates are demanding an increase in their share, whether the request is professional or administrative.” link

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Tishwash:  After the exchange volume exceeded one billion dollars.. an Iraqi-Syrian move to adopt currencies other than the dollar

The head of the Iraqi-Syrian Business Council, Hassan Sheikh Zaini, revealed that the volume of trade exchange between Iraq and Syria has exceeded the billion-dollar barrier, while pointing out that there is a mechanism to adopt currencies other than the dollar in this exchange.

Sheikh Zaini said, “The joint committees between the two countries are looking for a mechanism for trade exchange away from the dollar, since Syria currently exchanges in the European currency (the euro),” according to the official newspaper.

He added, “There are other platforms and currencies that Syria exchanges with other countries, and Iraq may benefit from them in the event of trade with them, especially with the volume of exchange between the two countries reaching more than a billion dollars annually.”

He stated that “the two countries may use the Russian ruble, the Japanese yen, the Chinese yuan, the Emirati dirham, or other currencies to sustain trade exchange between them,” calling for “the establishment of banks for commercial exchanges to enable the possibility of abandoning the dollar and creating another platform in this regard.”

He pointed out that “the use of other currencies in trade exchange between Iraq and Syria reveals the two countries’ need for each other, by benefiting from products of various types, industrial and agricultural.”

He explained, “There are joint Iraqi-Syrian committees at most levels, such as agriculture, industry, trade, transportation, customs, and everything related to food and medicine. They supervise the entry routes for goods and seek to overcome many obstacles that may hinder joint trade between the two countries.” link

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Tishwash:  Al-Atwani calls on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to provide the necessary support to Iraq

Chairman of the Finance Committee, Representative Atwan Al-Atwani, called on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to provide the necessary support to Iraq in the areas of exchanging experiences and training national cadres.

The media office of the Chairman of the Finance Committee stated in a statement received by the Iraqi News Agency (INA), that “The Chairman of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Atwan Al-Atwani, participated this evening, Monday, via closed-circuit television, in the deliberative meeting of the International Monetary Fund regarding the financial and economic situation in Iraq.”  

He added, “Al-Atwani provided a complete briefing on the financial and economic situation and the provisions and programs included in the tripartite budget law for the years (2023-2025) that are consistent with the government program to advance various sectors, activate the private sector, encourage investment, and support investors, in order to achieve sustainable development.” 

Al-Atwani stressed, according to the statement, that “approving the tripartite budget gave the government great comfort in terms of contracting, implementing projects, and attracting foreign companies to implement major projects,” pointing out that “the Finance Committee, through monitoring spending and financing and implementing plans and programs, seeks integration between the legislative and executive authorities.” Because we want this government to succeed, especially since it is taking steady steps towards achieving the aspirations of the people.” 

Al-Atwani pointed out that “the National Service Government is serious about moving the wheel of the economy and development and has ambitious programs to advance various productive sectors and maximize non-oil revenues, to leave the state of excessive dependence on oil in forming the general budget.” 

Al-Atwani concluded his participation by calling on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to provide the necessary support. For Iraq in the areas of exchanging experiences and training national cadres, to develop our banking system, especially as we are moving towards activating the digital financial dealing system and automating taxes, customs and other service sectors that generate financial revenues for the state.  link

Tishwash:  Parliamentary Finance: Last year’s budget was not spent as required and we are waiting for the new schedules

Member of the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives, Jamal Kujar, said that the 2023 budget was not spent as required, indicating that the Council is waiting for the 2024 budget schedules to be sent from the government.

Cougar stated in a press interview, “The budget was voted on for a period of 3 years, and the government is required to send the schedules for the year 2024 and the paragraphs that may witness amendments, especially related to the numbers of oil quantities in the event of an increase or change, as well as the projects and costs that have been allocated to them.”

He explained, “If a project from the previous budget is completed, it will be removed from the new tables, as well as the paragraphs related to the Kurdistan region in the event of a change to it,” pointing out that “the Finance Committee has no comments on some of the items, since they were voted on, but there may be.” Notes to the government, and these will inevitably be amended.”

He pointed out that “the budget schedules have not yet been voted on in the Council of Ministers, because the mechanism for passing them begins with collecting the budgets of the governorates and institutions in the Ministries of Planning and Finance, and then a draft is prepared and sent to the Council of Ministers for discussion, amendment and correction, and then it is returned to the Ministry of Finance, to be completed.” They are finalized and sent again to be voted on in the Council of Ministers, and finally to the House of Representatives.”

Cougar stated, “The budget amounts will be close to the 2023 budget, and there may be an increase in them, since the deficit included in the 2023 budget has not been achieved, meaning that there is no real deficit occurring, and there is a delay in spending the budget, and this led to it not being spent in the required manner.”  link