Kurdistan oil for revenue dispute looms large after emergency financing bill passage

Finance Ministry issues orders to begin transferring overdue civil servant salaries after overnight approval of $10 billion borrowing law.
Iraq's Parliament votes for an emergency 12 trillion ($10.2 billion) financing law on Nov. 12, 2020. (Source: Iraqi Parliament media office)

BAGHDAD/ERBIL/SULAIMANIYA - Iraq's Parliament approved a 12 trillion Iraqi dinar ($10.2 billion) stop-gap borrowing law early on Thursday morning — an essential measure to remain solvent through the rest of this year, which has also become a flashpoint for revenue-sharing disputes with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The oil-dependent country with a bloated workforce is suffering through a decline in the oil price and delaying paychecks to even the most essential civil servants. Political disputes derailed a 2020 budget, forcing Iraq to rely on the basic frameworks of the 2019 budget and a series of measures to draw from currency reserves and other borrowing.

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