Iraq to send ministerial council to oversee Kirkuk’s annual budget

  • Written by:

The Acting Governor of Kirkuk, Rakan Saeed al-Jabouri (right). (Photo: Kurdistan 24)ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Baghdad has appointed a ministerial committee to oversee Kirkuk’s annual budget enactment

so it is spent efficiently on the city’s pending projects for 2019, a member of the Kirkuk Provincial Council (KPC) said on Wednesday. According to KPC member Awat Mohammed, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi has decided to send a ministerial committee “to monitor and ensure the effective implementation of Kirkuk’s annual budget.” Mohammed told Kurdistan 24 the ministerial committee consists of members from the Ministry of Planning, Construction, Housing, and several other directorates. The decision came after 21 of 43 KPC members were unsuccessful in getting the approval from the Iraqi council of ministers to spend the annual budget on pending renovation projects. The KPC’s responsibility is to monitor the city’s provincial council and the governorate office to ensure that all ethnicities and minorities benefit equally from the annual budget. Kirkuk is an ethnically diverse province, home to Turkmen, Arabs, Christians, and a Kurdish majority. The current acting governor of Kirkuk, Rakan Saeed al-Jabouri, along with the provincial council, have tried to pass a budget bill which some believe serves only the Arab and Turkmen neighborhoods and excludes almost all of the Kurdish communities. Mohammed Khther, a member in the KPC’s Arab bloc, lamented the fact that half of the year has already passed and there are still no plans finalized for reconstruction and renovation of the city. “The problem is that the budget approval has turned into a political struggle which does not serve the best interest of the city,” Khther told Kurdistan 24. The Kurdish members in the provincial council presented 129 adjustments to be considered in the annual budget for projects that serve all ethnicities in Kirkuk without discrimination. A majority of the Kurdish neighborhoods in the contested territories do not have proper waste management, and the roads remain unmaintained, which has caused health issues among the population. Kirkuk’s allocated budget for annual renovation projects is over IQD 430 billion (USD 361 million). According to the bill, the budget is to be spent on rebuilding the electricity sector, completing water projects, creating two silos in Hawija and Dubiz (Dibs), building and renovating schools, and repairing roads. Editing by Karzan Sulaivany (Additional reporting by Hemin Delo)