The Iraqi cabinet has approved a draft 2011 budget on Tuesday that envisages a deficit of 14 trillion dinars ($11.99 billion), down from an expected deficit of $19.6 billion for this year, according to a report from Reuters.
The budget, which still needs parliamentary approval, is based on an oil price of $73 a barrel, as we previously reported, and an oil output of 2.25 million barrels a day. It forecasts government expenditure at 64 trillion dinars in 2011, Deputy Finance Minister Fadhil Nabi told Reuters after a weekly cabinet meeting.
The budget estimates for 2011 were revised down from a deficit of $18.6 billion after the cabinet asked ministries to cut their expenditure, Nabi said.
"The cabinet recommended to lower the deficit so we could make up the shortfall easily," he said.
Earlier this year, Iraq's parliament approved a 2010 budget of $72.4 billion with a deficit of $19.6 billion, based on an oil price of $62.50 per barrel.