Iraq’s budget for 2011 was approved some months ago, but with the government now formed it is back on the table, according to AKNews.
Kurdish MP Mahmoud Othman said: “There is an agreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the prime minister Nouri al-Maliki to amend the current budget.” Amendments are needed to resolve a dispute about how much money the KRG receives and to agree how much the central government will pay for the local Peshmarga military force.
Al-Maliki wants KRG to pay for its military out of its allocation of the national budget, which the current draft budget holds at 17%. KRG is also expected to begin exporting 150,000 barrels of oil per day. If it does not, lost revenue is planned to be cut from its share of the budget. This is also being disputed by the local government. Last month, a local official said the region could export 200,000 barrels.
Whilst re-allocation of the budget is on the cards, the total spend does not seem set to change. With the price of oil remaining significantly over the budgeted price, it looks like Iraq’s revenues may be higher next year than expected, as they were this yeardespite lower than expected oil exports. This will mean a lower budget deficit and will help ensure the already expected surplus, due in 2012.