KRG Council of Ministers enacts measures to enhance financial stability and citizen welfare

KRG Council of Ministers enacts measures to enhance financial stability and citizen welfare

Shafaq News / The Council of Ministers of the Kurdistan Region (KRI) convened on Wednesday to enact measures aimed at alleviating financial burdens and enhancing economic stability within the Region.

Chaired by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, the session addressed several critical issues concerning the welfare of Kurdistan's citizens.

During the meeting, Finance and Economy Minister Awat Sheikh Janab provided a comprehensive overview of the Region's current financial status, particularly focusing on the disbursement of owed salaries to government employees.

Minister Janab elaborated on the meticulous process of submitting monthly audit reports from Regional ministries and governmental bodies to the federal Ministry of Finance.

He emphasized the importance of this step in “fulfilling the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) constitutional obligations, highlighting the completion and subsequent submission of salary information, including details regarding Peshmerga forces and security institutions, following rigorous scrutiny by the Financial Control Bureau.”

Prime Minister Barzani highlighted the “imperative of safeguarding the Region's constitutional integrity and upholding the financial entitlements of its populace.” He reiterated KRG's “unwavering commitment to achieving equitable agreements with the federal government within the framework of the Iraqi Constitution.”

In addressing the localization of salaries, Prime Minister Barzani highlighted the pivotal role of the "My Account" banking initiative, noting its advanced status and regulatory oversight by the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI).

The initiative aims to streamline financial services and provide enhanced accessibility for salary recipients, constituting an integral component of the salary localization process.

Following deliberations on the agenda's primary item, the Council of Ministers unanimously resolved to implement a series of measures:

1. Commence the distribution of February salaries to all recipients and compile a list of March 2024 salaries for submission to the federal government, in adherence to constitutional obligations.

2. Allocate residential lands to all eligible employees and affiliates of KRG.

3. Implement a 20% reduction in accumulated water and electricity fees for citizens until financial conditions normalize.

4. Enact a 20% reduction in fees and rents owed to the Ministry of Municipalities and Tourism by earners and craftsmen, contingent upon the restoration of normal financial circumstances.

5. Implement a 50% reduction in customs duties on live animal imports for slaughter and breeding purposes, subject to review after one year.

6. Grant a 90-day exemption from accumulated late fines for employers participating in social security, conditional upon timely settlement of contributions.

7. Extend a 20% exemption on traffic violation fines, including outstanding fines, until September 30, 2024.

8. Provide necessary tax-related facilitations to taxpayers, exempting them from fines resulting from delayed payments.

9. Implement an additional 20% reduction in fees for parallel and evening education across educational institutions affiliated with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

10. Instruct all ministries and relevant authorities to enforce the aforementioned decisions.

Furthermore, the Council discussed directives and instructions issued by CBI regarding cash withdrawals in US dollars, with ministries and relevant authorities tasked with analyzing these directives for future decision-making.

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