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The New Arab

Iraq stops paying salaries to Kurdish Regional Government employees over oil revenues dispute

The Iraqi government says the Kurdish Regional Government has not paid oil revenues [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 April, 2020

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A severe financial dispute between the Iraqi government and the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has resulted in the former announcing the suspension of all salary payments to KRG employees.
A severe financial dispute between the Iraqi government and the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has resulted in the Iraqi government announcing the suspension of all salary payments to KRG employees.

The Iraqi government said that the KRG had stopped transferring oil revenues to Baghdad and this is why it had to stop paying the salaries of workers.

At the end of 2019, Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadban announced that an agreement had been reached with the KRG which stipulates the Kurds would pay the revenues from 250,000 barrels of oil daily to the Iraqi State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) in return for the KRG’s share of oil profits being included in the central government’s budget.

Read also: Islamic State grows in power in Iraq amid coronavirus outbreak

However, last month the Iraqi government said that the KRG had not transferred its oil revenues as per the agreement.

Iraqi local government minister Benkin Rakani said in a television interview on Saturday that the Iraqi government would have difficulty paying the salaries of its employees because of the global oil price crash.

An Iraqi government source was quoted by the Arabic news website Arabi 21 as saying that “the finance ministry has been ordered to recover what was spent in the Kurdistan Region since last January.”

The Iraqi government pays roughly $380 million in salaries to employees of the KRG.

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