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Member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Jamal Cougar, on Monday (11-23-2020), specified a number of conditions that must be met in the 2021 budget before sending it by the government to the House of Representatives, while noting that the time has come to rearrange salaries by the government.
Cougar said in a televised statement followed by (Baghdad Today), that "there is no prior rejection of the 2021 budget, but there is a refusal to present another law for borrowing in order to secure salaries, and the cabinet must send the budget to Parliament to legislate it before the end of this year to solve the salary crisis."
He added, "We will not accept that the budget be sent to Parliament, and it contains many borrowing laws, and there is no real reform and implementation of the white paper that the government sent some time ago."
On the salaries of employees, Cougar said, "The time has come to rearrange salaries by the government, but reducing salaries is difficult for the citizen and we do not believe that it is a sound thing with the economic conditions in the country and so far there is nothing official about that, just talk in the white paper."
Some social networking sites had reported that the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives submitted a proposal to the Iraqi government to reduce 70% of the allocations and salaries of state employees as compulsory savings.
This month, the House of Representatives approved the internal and external borrowing law worth 12 trillion dinars (10 billion dollars), in an effort to end the crisis of delayed payment of state salaries, which has lasted about two months.
This is the second time that the government has asked Parliament to grant it the authorization to borrow, with the aim of securing operating expenses, on top of which are the salaries of employees. Parliament had approved on June 24 a bill that allowed the government to borrow 15 trillion dinars (12.5 billion dollars) internally, and 5 billion dollars abroad to cover the fiscal deficit.
The country is experiencing a suffocating financial crisis due to the decline in oil prices due to the Corona pandemic crisis, which has paralyzed large sectors of the world’s economies.
Before the Corona crisis, revenues from selling crude amounted to about $ 6 billion per month, but they have almost halved this year. The reporter of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Ahmed Al-Saffar, said in an interview with (Baghdad Today), "Deleting zeros from the currency does not affect financially and does not get the country out of the crisis, and it is only a psychological aspect only."
He added, "Deleting zeros will affect the government because it will destroy the currency it has and issue a new currency without zeros, and this will be in printing houses outside the country and this will cost the government a lot, and the current time is not suitable for this procedure."
As for a member of the Finance Committee, Ahmed Hama, he told (Baghdad Today), "Exiting the financial crisis is not only by deleting zeros from the Iraqi currency because the crisis is mainly economic," indicating that "deleting zeros from the Iraqi dinar needs to print a new currency."
He pointed out that "the cost of printing a new currency of different denominations of cash amounts to 60 trillion dinars, and this is difficult for Iraq to bear at the present time, because each denomination or every banknote of the currency requires 6 cents to be issued again."
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