Economic Committee Asks Government to Explain Japan Donation

Iraq’s parliamentary economic committee has asked the government to explain a $9.48 million aid donation to Japan to help deal with the aftermath of the devastating March 11 tsunami.

The donation was announced last week in a government statement, alongside hints of a potential business arrangement between the two countries.

“The government has agreed to donate $9.48 million in aid following the events in Japan, and is also ready for expressions of interest by Japanese companies to import Iraqi oil,” the statement reads.

AKnews reports however that Nahida Daini, of the economic committee, showed little enthusiasm for the government’s generosity.

Calling on the government to provide “clarification”, Daini expressed her surprise at the gesture in light of Iraq’s current economic difficulties.

“The Ministers Council and the Finance minister are fully aware that the budget of the country suffers from a fiscal deficit,” she said.

Iraq’s $81.9 billion 2011 budget suffers in fact from a deficit of $13.3 billion.

According to the terms of the budget, the emergency reserve from which the government intends to draw the donation can only be used for internal emergencies.

Besides, with the third largest economy in the world, some observers have argued that Japan is better-placed than many other nations to cope with the aftermath of such a catastrophe.

It has been broadly estimated that the cost of reconstruction added to the losses incurred when production plants ground to a halt, could top $300bn.

(Source: AKnews)

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