Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani chaired a Council of Ministers meeting to discuss the federal Budget Bill of 2018, which was prepared by the federal Ministry of Finance without the participation of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
In the meeting, which was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, KRG Council of Ministers called upon Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to take the KRG’s notes and observations on the federal draft Budget Bill of 2018 into consideration, those detailed in the Council’s previous statement.
It called upon the Iraqi Prime Minister to remove the unfair articles and paragraphs in the draft Budget Bill, namely those articles that reduce the federal budget share of the Kurdistan Region from 17 percent to 12.6 percent, and change the name of the Kurdistan Region into Norther Iraqi provinces.
“The proposed reduced figure at the draft Budget Bill will not be enough to pay the payroll of even one Kurdistan Region province”, the Council stated.
The KRG Council of Ministers stressed that the draft Budget Bill carries many unconstitutional articles and paragraphs that aim at ignoring the Kurdistan Region as “one entity” when referring to the Kurdistan Region as the Northern Governorates. The Iraqi Constitution Article 117 clearly recognizes the Kurdistan Region, and Article 121 prohibits limiting or reducing the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region.
The KRG Council of Ministers also emphasized that dialogue within the framework of the Iraqi Constitution is the only path to resolve outstanding disputes between Erbil and Baghdad, and reiterated the readiness of the KRG to negotiate with the federal government. The Council stressed that resorting to violence and military solutions cannot solve any issue.