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In pursuit of reforms, Kurdistan drafts regional budget

For the first time in seven years, the KRG is preparing its own regional budget law — a process that is highlighting the stakes of ongoing negotiations with Baghdad.
Negotiating teams representing Iraq's federal government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government meet in Baghdad to negotiate over energy and financial issues on April 19, 2020.

Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is preparing an annual budget for the first time since 2014 — a process that hinges on the volatile relationship between Erbil and Baghdad.

The budget effort represents an attempt by KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani's administration to respond to a dire economic crisis and improve the regional government's financial management, which has historically been characterized by opaque and ad hoc decision making shaped by unpredictable revenue flows.

In a joint effort, the KRG ministries of Planning, Finance, and Natural Resources are now preparing two different, provisional versions of a regional budget for 2021: one that anticipates monthly transfers from the federal government, and one that assumes the KRG will have to rely solely on its own revenues.

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