Oil optimism buoys draft budget

Anticipating export increases due to new infrastructure and rising Kurdish production, Iraq's Cabinet has approved a record-setting draft budget of nearly $100 billion.
A tanker at the al-Basra Oil Terminal loads crude at night on Feb. 21, 2010. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - The Cabinet has passed its largest draft budget yet, calling for spending of 117 trillion Iraqi dinars ($97.5 million) next year, a 22 percent increase over 2011.

The budget reflects Iraq's priorities as it takes its first steps into full sovereignty, dedicating nearly half of state spending to three sectors: energy, security, and social services.

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