Former Vice President Slams Iraq’s Economic Policy

By Omar al-Shaher for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Adil Abdul-Mahdi, the former Iraqi vice president who resigned from his post, vehemently criticized Iraq’s economic policy, describing it as a failure. Abdul-Mahdi warned that tampering with the balances of nature of the economy could lead to “tsunamis, desertification and misinterpreted fluctuations.”

Abdul-Mahdi is one of the most prominent figures of the Islamic Supreme Council headed by Ammar al-Hakim. He assumed the post of minister of economy during the mandate of former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, and was later appointed vice president before presenting his resignation due to political conflicts.

On his personal Facebook page, Abdul-Mahdi wrote about the dramatic fluctuation in the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar against the US dollar since the beginning of April. “The high demand for the US dollar that we have seen for months has been widening the gap between supply and demand, at about $60 million-$70 million per day. A black market has emerged, in addition to two different exchange rates with a difference of 8%-10%.”

Since the beginning of April 2013, the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar has entered a phase of decline against the US dollar, which hit its nadir last week when the dinar dropped from 1,200 per US dollar — the exchange rate registered in March — to 1,300 per US dollar.

Yet, the value of the dinar improved this week following news about a proposal presented by the parliamentary Financial Commission, which stipulates disbursing half of all state employees’ salaries in dollars.

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