An oilfield in Kurdistan Region. Photo:Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Iraqi parliament is going to form a committee to look into the matter of Kurdistan’s oil, said a Kurdish MP, adding it will start work in the coming days.
The committee will be tasked with investigating KRG’s oil sales from 2014 to 2018 and its revenues, Arez Abdullah, a Kurdish MP in Baghdad, told Rudaw.
“The committee will be comprised of members of the oil, integrity commission, and finance committees and will be starting in the next days,” he explained.
Another Iraqi government committee is reviewing payroll lists from the KRG’s ministries of health and education.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has challenged the Kurdish record on its oil exports and revenues, despite the KRG’s announcement it will soon publish figures and data audited by Deloitte in order to increase transparency in the oil sector.
“Publish the figures about how much you exported, at which price, and where the money went. It does not exist in the Kurdistan Region at all. It did not enter bank accounts of the Region. In which bank account is there the money? Where did it go, and how have the funds been used?” Abadi said on Tuesday.
The KRG shortly afterwards warned Abadi against depending on “false information” when it comes to the Regional government’s finances and said it is time for “serious talks,” in the latest round of back-and-forth in the media between the two governments.
Abadi’s figures are based on “completely false information” and he will realize that when the audit is published, said KRG spokesperson Safeen Dizayee on Wednesday.
Relations between Erbil and Baghdad are at their worst in the post-Saddam Hussein era following Iraq’s military takeover of the disputed areas in response to Kurdistan’s independence vote.
The two sides have yet to commit to political dialogue despite repeated calls from international allies. Abadi on Tuesday ordered resumption of security talks between the two sides and announced a delegation will discuss international borders with the KRG, another contentious issue.