PM Barzani Chairs Meeting of Supreme Economic Council on 2021 Budget Bill
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PM Barzani Chairs Meeting of Supreme Economic Council on 2021 Budget Bill

ERBIL - Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the Supreme Economic Council for talks on the efforts to present a comprehensive budget bill for the year 2021.

During the meeting, the Kurdish premier said that his cabinet spares no efforts to restructure its revenue system, reduce public expenses, recognize government staff, and eliminate redundancies in the government's payroll system, which "aims to ensure fairness in the system and compensation for hardworking employees," his office said in a statement.

Barzani further "emphasised that the government remains committed to increasing its productivity and competitive edge by removing systemic barriers in its bureaucracy, adding that the 2021 budget bill should strive to improve the conditions for doing business while understanding the Kurdistan Region’s unique challenges."

"He underlined that the draft budget should be realistic and transparent, taking into consideration revenue figures from oil sales and other sources of income. It should address government spending, prospective deficits, and the current financial conditions of the Kurdistan Region," the statement continued.

A couple of reports were separately presented by Minister of Finance and Economy, Awat Sheikh Janab, and Minister of Planning, Dara Rashid, detailing reports on the current financial situation in the region in addition to the details of the budget draft for the fiscal year of 2021.

"Head of the Department of Coordination and Follow-Up, Abdul-Hakim Khasro, reported on steps taken to implement previous decisions from the Supreme Economic Council. The Council of Ministers will review the draft and submit it to parliament for debate in the near future."

Concerning the ongoing negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad on the Kurdistan Region's share from the federal budget, PM Barzani reiterated that the autonomous region had fulfilled its constitutional obligations towards Baghdad, and that it will continue to hold peaceful dialogue with the federal government in this regard.

According to the statement, "the Cabinet will meet tomorrow to discuss, among other things, the details of the budget draft and the financial impacts of the current political climate in Iraq."