Basra's $350m Development Budget

An official from Basra Provincial Council (BPC) said on Tuesday that the council allocated 400 billion Iraqi Dinars (IDs) -- around $350 million-- from oil and customs’ revenues to provide public services in the province, the head of the monitoring and planning committee of the BPC told AKnews.

Walid Gitan said the Iraqi Finance Ministry has funded only six projects out of the 200 projects proposed for the province.

The projects to be funded from the revenues are mainly for the provision of basic services such as power supply, according to Gitan.

Basra has witnessed numerous protests in recent months as a result of the power shortages.

“We have studied and approved the new projects during the past three months ... the Council bears the responsibility for the delay in the implementation of the projects because it didn’t pass the bills to the Finance Ministry on time."

Last January the previous parliament approved the allocation of 5% of the revenues from the border crossing points (land, air and ports) to reconstruction projects in the provinces from which the revenues come.

The lawmakers also decided that one dollar from each barrel of oil will be spent on development projects in the province where the oil was produced. Basra province is the major center for oil production in Iraq.

Basra’s governor announced earlier that the share of province from petrodollar and border crossing points' revenues for the current year is around 800 billion IDs – approximately $700 million.

The business community in Basra held an investment conference last May to discuss the mechanism of spending Basra's revenues and identify the most important and strategic projects needed in the province.

(Source: AKnews)

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