KRG secures May salary funds, excluding military pensions: official

KRG secures May salary funds, excluding military pensions: official

Shafaq News/ The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) secured 419.19 billion Iraqi dinars ($287 million) from the federal government on Monday to cover May salaries for public sector employees, the KRG's Ministry of Finance announced.

Salary distribution will commence on Tuesday, the ministry confirmed. However, military retirees are temporarily excluded due to a lack of dedicated funding from Baghdad.

The ministry pledged to begin their disbursement upon receiving the necessary allocation.

In January, Iraq's top court ordered the federal government to cover public sector salaries in the autonomous Kurdistan region, where some workers have gone without pay for months.

Civil servants have taken the regional and federal authorities to court and demonstrated over unpaid salaries in Kurdistan, where officials have long accused Baghdad of not sending the necessary funds.

The Supreme Court said the central administration would pay government workers, employees at public institutions, social benefit recipients, and pensioners directly, instead of through the regional administration.

The case was brought by civil servants in al-Sulaymaniyah where hundreds of teachers have also taken to the streets in recent weeks to demand compensation for unpaid salaries from last year.

In September 2023, Baghdad agreed to increase funds allocated to Iraqi Kurdistan, saying it would provide the northern region with three annual payments of 700 billion dinars (about $535 million).

Thanks to oil exports, the region previously had independent funding that partly covered salaries.

But a dispute involving the federal government and Turkiye, through which the oil had been exported, has blocked that source of income for the regional administration since late March.

Iraqi Kurdistan and Baghdad later agreed in principle that sales of Kurdish oil would pass through the federal government. In exchange, 12.6 percent of Iraq's public spending will go to the autonomous region.

The court in its ruling also ordered the Kurdish administration to hand over "all its oil and non-oil revenues" to the federal government, and an audit of relevant accounts.

With oil revenues gone, Kurdistan's current main source of revenue is tax collected at border crossings with neighboring countries including Iran and Turkiye, two of Iraq's main regional trade partners.

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