By John Lee.
The Iraqi parliament passed the 2013 budget of the 138 trillion Iraqi dinars ($118.5 billion) on Thursday, allocating to Kurdistan just a fraction of the oil revenue the region requested, reports Wall Street Journal.
Ibrahim al-Mutlaq, a member of the parliamentary finance committee, said the budget allocates 750 billion Iraqi dinars ($644 million) for oil companies operating in the semi-autonomous region, which include majors such as Exxon Mobil, Gazprom Neft and Chevron; the Kurdish government had asked for $3.5 billion, including outstanding payments covering all exports between 2010 and 2013.
The budget decision adds to existing tensions between the Kurdish region and Baghdad over oil exploration rights, trade with Turkey and the redevelopment of oil fields in a disputed territory.
Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the session which led to the passing of the budget, Mr. al-Mutlaq said.
Jaber al-Jaberi, an Iraqiya MP among those who boycotted the session, said he expects the Kurds to go to the federal court to disrupt the budget.
(Sources: WSJ, Reuters)