ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Central Bank of Iraq has opened a bank account for the Kurdistan Region and deposited 450 billion dinars (approximately $380 million) into it, according to a document Rudaw has obtained.
A letter to Iraq’s Ministry of Finance seen by Rudaw states that the account was opened “for the Kurdistan Region” on December 30 and as of January 3, 450 billion dinars has been transferred by the finance ministry into the account.
According to the letter, the prime minister alone can authorize transfers out of the account.
A source inside the ministry told Rudaw that the funds are dedicated for “public employee salaries in the Kurdistan Region.”
Teams from Erbil and Baghdad are auditing employee lists of the KRG’s health and education ministries. The two teams first met in late December.
On Wednesday, they issued a joint recommendation
that the central government pay one month salaries for the two ministries while the audit is ongoing.
Rekawt Hama Rashid, the KRG minister of health is optimistic they will reach an agreement. "Currently there is a committee from the ministries of health and education in Baghdad. There is a lot of progress and we expect the salaries of the ministry of health will be sent," he said on Wednesday.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said he is willing to pay KRG state salaries, but only after auditing the payroll lists.