Basra pushes toward financial autonomy

Provincial leaders claim rights to all revenues from two oil fields and a portion of customs fees in an effort to bypass Baghdad's fiscal management.
Sheikh Mohammed Falak, the representative of the marjaiyah of Najaf in Basra, in a sermon on March 18, urges revenues from the Tuba and Nahr bin Umar fields to be spent on service projects in Basra. (ALI AL-AQILY/Iraq Oil Report)

BASRA - Provincial leaders in Basra are moving to assert partial financial autonomy from Baghdad, in response to a lack of funding from the cash-strapped federal government.

Basra Gov. Majid al-Nasrawi and Provincial Council Chairman Sabah al-Bezzouni said the Oil Ministry agreed that all revenue from two oil fields – the state-operated Tuba and Nahr bin Umar fields – will be earmarked for projects in the province. Nasrawi and Bezzouni also said the provincial government will keep half of the customs revenue collected in Basra.

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