Mazhar Mohammed Saleh, economic adviser to the prime minister, told Al-Monitor, “Oil prices estimations were changed in the 2015 budget, and were based on the price of $60 per barrel, according to the current oil production ceiling, which could be up to 3 million barrels in 2015.”
Saleh added, “The budget deficit is of 23 trillion dinars (about $20 billion), and the Kurdistan region share amounts to 20 trillion dinars (about $18 billion).”
It should be noted that Iraq was unable to approve the 2014 budget, and the exceptional circumstances in the country with the worsening security crisis, the Islamic State’s occupation of large areas and the growing need to arm the military and the popular mobilization forces. The latter has taken a toll on the budget, the largest part of which is expected to go to expenses of the Interior and Defense ministries in the coming years.
In light of the tense security situation that includes the need for arming, sheltering the displaced, reconstructing the affected areas by the military operations on the one hand, and the decline in global oil prices on the other, the Iraqi government has found itself facing a real test as to whether it can ensure the basic necessities for its people.