Al-Sulaymaniya’s traffic, notary, and electricity employees boycott official duties

Al-Sulaymaniya’s traffic, notary, and electricity employees boycott official duties

Shafaq News / Employees of the traffic, notary, and electricity departments in al-Sulaymaniya announced their boycott of official duties on Sunday due to delayed salary payments.

Our correspondent reported that traffic employees showed up for work but refused to carry out their duties, disrupting citizens' transactions. Meanwhile, dozens of citizens gathered in front of the al-Sulaymaniya Traffic Directorate building.

Following that, employees of the al-Sulaymaniya notary and the Western al-Sulaymaniya Electricity Directorate also announced their boycott and demanded their salaries.

Several citizens confirmed to Shafaq News Agency that they arrived at the traffic directorate early in the morning but were unable to complete their transactions due to the employees' boycott.

A few days ago, the Iraqi Ministry of Finance sent 560 billion IQD to salary recipients in Kurdistan. However, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) refused to distribute them due to a deficit of 374 billion IQD, urging Baghdad to provide the deficit amount before initiating salary distribution.

It has been over 40 days since the salaries for January were paid, and KRG has yet to pay the salaries for the past February.

Notably, KRG has initiated efforts to localize employee salaries through the "My Account" project, supervised by the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI).

Despite the federal government's recent release of funds for the Kurdistan Region's salaries for February, the Ministry of Finance warned that no funding would be provided for March 2024 if employee salaries are not localized.

The Iraqi Ministry of Finance announced the disbursement of salaries to the Region for February 2024, aligning with the directives of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani and the approval of the Minister of Finance.

According to the Ministry's statement, the salaries encompass funding for various categories, including civilian employees, allowances for people with disabilities, retirees' salaries, martyrs' and orphans' entitlements, and financial allocations for departments in Kurdistan.

"The Ministry has duly informed the Federal Court about the content of the relevant letters concerning the salary disbursement. However, the release of salaries for March is contingent upon the completion of localization requirements by the Kurdistan Region." The statement explained.

The Ministry emphasized that KRG is urged to "bear legal responsibility for the accuracy and validity of the information and data provided to regulatory and legal authorities."

Salaries are among the main outstanding issues between the Iraqi and the Kurdish governments, along with the oil export and disputed areas.

Last month, the Federal Court, Iraq's highest judicial authority, mandated to localization of the salaries for Kurdistan's employees in government banks starting this February.

The Court's new decision has sparked anger and criticism among Kurdish politicians, with some claiming that the decision is unconstitutional and politically motivated and that it undermines the autonomy and finances of the Kurdistan Region.

However, some observers and experts argue that the decisions are correct and consistent with the law and the constitution and that they will ensure the rights of everyone and end the suffering of the Region's employees who have delayed receiving their salaries for months.

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