Cabinet passes draft budget with record spending and new KRG framework

Attempting to triangulate between opposing political forces, Sudani also pushes through a long-delayed financial transfer to Kurdistan.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani speaks at a press conference after a Cabinet meeting on Feb. 7, 2023. (Photo credit: Prime Minister's Office)

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi Cabinet on Monday approved a draft budget covering the next three years, which includes record spending of 198.7 trillion Iraqi dinars ($152.8 billion) annually and new provisions to govern oil and financial dealings with the Kurdistan region.

The budget progress comes on the same day Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani pushed through a transfer of 400 billion Iraqi dinars ($308 million) to the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), weeks after the Federal Supreme Court (FSC) struck down a previous attempt.

In a televised press conference after Monday's Cabinet vote, Sudani stressed that the draft budget has gotten support from all of the political blocs represented in the Cabinet, and called on MPs to pass it without delay because it was already "subject to a political agreement within this coalition."

"We don't want to repeat the scenario of previous budgets... [when] the budget law bill goes to Parliament and is subject to pushing and pulling, and comes out changed from what was approved by Cabinet," Sudani said. "No — if there are problems, if there is discussion or understandings required, it has happened here, in the Cabinet, before we kick the ball to Parliament."

This content is for registered users. Please login to continue.
If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial.