Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Kurdistan

Kurdish deputy PM says austerity measures expected to continue next year

By Rudaw 5/12/2016
-
LONDON, United Kingdom - The Kurdish Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani announced on Monday that his government's unpopular austerity measures are expected to continue in 2017, as the Kurdish region still suffers from the impact of low oil prices, the war against ISIS, a budget cut from Baghdad and hosting about two million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
 
He made the remarks to the annual Kurdistan Oil and Gas conference held in London. 
 
Talabani said that in 2014 Kurdistan Region suffered from triple shocks: the Iraqi budget cut early that year, the war with ISIS that began that summer and the subsequent influx of refugees and IDPs who numbered almost two million, coupled later with "a devastating blow" of low oil prices.
 
He said these crises forced the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to take measures to reduce the budget deficit, including slashing the salaries of civil servants by one-third, causing widespread demonstrations in some parts of the region, particularly in Sulaimani and Halabja provinces, where schoolteachers have continued to stage protests and strikes for more than two months, affecting 750,000 students. 
 
"Governance is never a popularity contest, and this is particularly true in situations of crises," Talabani said, "Popular support has to be earned through government actions that strengthen credibility and promote participation," he added, as he explained that the KRG has reached agreement with international audit firms to promote transparency in the oil and gas sector, a major source of revenue for the region.
 
The KRG signed two agreements with Deloitte and Ernst and Young, two major international firms, in October and November, respectively 
 
Restructured government spending, reducing the petroleum subsidies, major overhaul of the electricity sector and KRG reforms have helped the government decrease the budget deficit by 80 percent, from $6.4 billion in 2014 to an estimated $1.3 billion in 2016, Talabani stated.
 
The KRG struggles to finance the monthly wages to some 1.4 million people on its payroll, with around 730,000 of them directly employed by the KRG, while another 700,000 people have monthly payments from the Kurdish government in pensions, social protection for the underprivileged, student stipends and payments to families of Peshmerga victims, among others.
 
But the government has an issue with “ghost employees” who are never seen but are registered to receive salaries, and also those who unlawfully receive more than one salary, Talabani noted, "of which we likely have many."
 
To address this issue the KRG has started a new initiative which biometrically registers the government employees in a three-month window, helping identify those who are currently receiving payments unlawfully. 
 
"Austerity is expected to continue in 2017," Talabani said, "with the ultimate goal of generating an operating surplus in order to restore funding for critical public investments, and over time to repay government's debts, including advances from the banking sector.”

Comments

 
FAUthman | 6/12/2016
Wow, what a great speech. KRG is doing a lot we were not aware of. Young Talabani is very impressive!
2336 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Cheap talk | 3/25/2017 9:46:37 AM
So what he is saying stop liberating Mosul and let Isis flourish to bring the world into more trouble and more life taken by Isis everyday. Hanging,...
Mosul official: Human life more precious than freeing a neighborhood
| 12 hours ago | (1)
The Observer | 3/25/2017 7:30:25 AM
Nice to hear some talented one fleeing tyrany ,becomes a citizen of the free world and tells such moving stories.He has an audience, while the Kurds ...
Imprisoned Baathist dissident reborn as musician in the US
| yesterday at 11:53 | (1)
Guest | 3/25/2017 4:34:30 AM
Somebody should give Mr. Bashar Jaafari a kick in the butt and tell him to shut up. The Shiite are a small minority in Syria and they have no right...
Divide The ill-fated Country | 3/25/2017 7:17:27 AM
The so-called Syrian state is actually taken over by the Alawite sect which is some 15 % of the country's population. The alawite leadership came to...
Damascus condemns US military cooperation with SDF
| yesterday at 09:17 | (5)
Luigi.Palermo | 3/24/2017 6:13:40 PM
The Kurds have no say whatsoever on Turkish politics, as whoever may rule Turkey would suppress the Kurds and would deny their existence.The Kurds...
Kandil | 3/25/2017 6:31:35 AM
Nothing good can come out of Erdogan, Kurds should be careful not to be jaash!!!
To win votes for his campaign Turkish president plans to visit Kurdish areas
| yesterday at 01:40 | (7)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Kurdish vocalist Aynur Dogan receives prestigious award for excellence 15/3/2017 | (1)

Kurdish vocalist Aynur Dogan receives prestigious award for excellence

Her music focuses on the life and suffering of more
UPDATED: Iraqi forces control New Mosul, struggle to enter Old City 14/3/2017 | (2)

UPDATED: Iraqi forces control New Mosul, struggle to enter Old City

They are facing a scaled-up, aggressive use of more
PUK and Iraqi PM Abadi agree to keep Kirkuk’s oil flow to Turkey 8/3/2017 | (8)

PUK and Iraqi PM Abadi agree to keep Kirkuk’s oil flow to Turkey

Oil ministry has added a processing unit with 10k more
0.281 seconds