Shafaq News/ Legal uncertainties and procedural issues had impeded the implementation of Iraq's federal budget for 2023-2025, despite its approval by the parliament nearly a month ago, Mudher Saleh, the financial advisor ot Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani said on Sunday.
The budget's execution is contingent on the resolution of disputed clauses currently under review by the Federal Court and the issuance of implementation guidelines by the Finance and Planning Ministries, he told Shafaq News Agency.
"The budget execution will start effectively once two conditions are fulfilled. Firstly, the Finance and Planning Ministries need to issue execution guidelines for the current fiscal law, which will extend till 2025. Secondly, there could be pending issues related to the government's resolution of disputed clauses challenged at the Federal Court, particularly those added by the Parliament to the draft budget law that was previously approved by the Council of Ministers and submitted to the Parliament for legislation," Saleh stated.
Saleh shed light on the legal issues and clauses which bear upon the matter of the separation of powers, or the inclusion of clauses that impose a fiscal burden on the public budget.
"These fall outside the powers stipulated by the constitution for the Parliament when drafting the budget law, as the Parliament's authority in amendment, apart from legislation, is confined to expenditure reduction and allocation transfers between sections and chapters," he explained.
According to Saleh, the government might potentially procure a 'Mandate Order' from the Federal Court to suspend disputed articles or legal texts in the budget law, effectively freezing or suspending their execution.
This allows for the continuation of other clauses until a final and irrevocable decision is issued by the Federal Court. "I believe these factors are the fundamental constraints delaying the implementation of the general budget law, especially after its publication in the Official Gazette," Saleh continued.
The Iraqi Official Gazette, issued by the Ministry of Justice, published the text of the General Budget Law for the years 2023, 2024, 2025, on Monday, June 26th.
The Iraqi Parliament gave the green light to the federal budget law for the years 2023, 2024, 2025, after five days of intense deliberation on June 12th.
The value of the current year's budget stands at approximately 197.828 trillion Iraqi dinars (around $152.2 billion), with a total deficit of 63 trillion dinars ($48.3 billion). However, the budget items for 2023 and 2024 have yet to be published.