aggiedad77 » February 25th, 2014, 1:38 pm
Tuesday Morning News Summaries
United States of America and the Republic of Iraq Announce Progress on Entry into Force of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement
Another "framework" document is likely to be set in place with Iraq later this year....one that has been written since 2005 that will provide for a permanent forum for high level discussions of trade and economic issues that would include services, transparency (like our current administration would recognize transparency), worker rights and intellectual properties.
A proposal for the establishment of a supreme body concerned with banks
Finance Committee has proposed a new law that would establish an independent supreme body of the Iraqi banking sector that would monitor banking work.....at least one member of the Committee believes the existing system is backward and needs to be modernized. In the meantime the government is expected to speed up the Bank Deposits Protection Act and get that to Parliament before the end of the current session....good luck in doing that.
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Expected to increase inflation to more than 4%
Because of the expected federal deficit being expected around 35 trillion dinar, the inflation rate is also expected to climb to something above 4% in 2014.....this increase can also be attributed to a higher expense ratio compared to the size of revenue of oil (95%) in the budget.
Tinkering with the budget .. cut investment projects for oil 15%
Shaking my head over this.....they should be doing this "after" the first reading....not before. The Economic Commission is calling for a 15% reduction in oil projects as a means to curb the deficit....claiming that the problem that exists with the deficit was caused by the petrodollar being raised from $1 to $5...hooey it was always supposed to be at $5....yet they try to claim the Retirement Law doesn't enter into this problem....I call hooey on that as well....they just seem to change numbers on a whim.....earlier it was reported that oil was 95% of the revenue budget....now they claim it is 90%....that is a significant change....and this article also claims 2014 oil production to be at 3.2 million barrels of oil per day....earlier claims had it at 3.5....still shaking my head.
Industrial Bank staff are demonstrating to demand the resignation of general manager
Staff of the Industrial Bank demonstrated outside the bank on Tuesday to demand the resignation of the bank's general manager over issues of corruption and harassment of staff....they are calling upon the Minister of Finance to improve things.
Finance confirms its ability to pay the salaries of state employees until the end of the current year
The Ministry of Finance reported on Tuesday they have enough money stashed away somewhere to pay state employees to the end of the year....they pointed out that others making different statements about not being able to pay were wrong.
Basra teachers protesting in front of one of the banks to maintain the delayed payment of their monthly salaries
Teachers in Basra are protesting today in front of one of the banks, demanding payment for their work....stating they must also make payments on rent and other things and without the salary they cannot make payments.....this is affecting thousands of teachers across Basra.
Najafi to Kurdistan in two days to resolve the outstanding problems between Erbil and Baghdad
Get out of the way....Superman Najafi....Speaker of Parliament is coming to save the day for the Kurds and Baghdad....he will be mediating between the two groups to resolve outstanding issues.....this should be interesting.
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance submitted his resignation in protest against the cutting salaries region
The Undersecretary of the Finance Ministry has submitted his resignation to Maliki and to the Vice President of Economic Affairs Shaways....stating the cause to be the cutting of salaries in the Kurdistan region....guess we are about to find out how important this guy really is to the Baghdad government.....meanwhile he can get in the soup line with the rest of the Kurds until he hears from Maliki.
"Kurdistan donates its budget to the poor of Iraq."
I'm not sure how to take this article....it is from a "former" member of the Kurdistan government saying that the Kurds are willing to give up their share of the federal budget if it goes towards the poor....but Baghdad seems to be saying they can't do this....but they can donate whatever they receive from Baghdad as they see fit....whenever they start getting something.....this sounds like one man's opinion to me.
Italy's ENI" threaten to leave Iraq in the absence of the signing of contracts
Italian oil giant ENI is poised to leave Iraq if they do not get signed contracts from them in the next two weeks....these guys work hard...they play hard and they demand payment for their work....don't be messing with them.
UPDATE 1-Angola's Sonangol to pull out of two oilfields in Iraq
Angola's state oil company Sonangol will be leaving Iraq due to security issues in the two fields they have tried to produce in the Nineveh province, they claim security problems with Sunni rebels and terrorists in the area have created working conditions that are not acceptable for their employees.
Barzani: We will not discuss the budget issues with Baghdad again
Kurd PM Barzani has now stated that the Kurds will not be returning to Baghdad to negotiate.....this comes after Baghdad has enforced an economic stranglehold on the Kurds by withholding salary payments to the Kurd employees for Jan and Feb....Barzani states this must end before they will talk again.
Amid Erbil-Baghdad Budget Row, Kurds Control Water Pressure
Well now the "tit for tat" games start.....you withhold our employee's salaries.....we will withhold water for irrigation and drinking needs in much of Iraq....who will win.
Kurds to ask for confederation soon
It would appear that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) headed by PM Barzani will be seeking confederation in the region due to the growing problems between the Kurds and Baghdad....this means the permanent establishment of political units for common action in relation to other units.....it involves establishing a constitution which the Kurds already have....and other things such as security, foreign affairs, currency, and central government.....sounds like they want to seriously pursue independence very soon.....I don't really see this going very far at this point....nor do I see Baghdad agreeing with it.
Dispense oil companies and contractors are considering to leave Iraq forever
BP may also be considering leaving Iraq soon if red tape is not cut away.....they have already released at least one subcontractor because Iraq has failed to renew visas for them....this kind of garbage is going to cause Baghdad to shoot itself in the back....they need these big oil companies if they expect to continue to raise their levels of production....shaking my head at the stupidity of these government officials and their bureaucracy.
Iraq's failing state institutions
The Iraqi's are good at making political appointments rather than making them on grounds of expertise....and as a result many state programs and institutions are failing....this article illustrates the reasons for such failures by giving a long list of examples that all center around security and the former regime as faults....however the real issue is the lack of thorough study by the proper technical personnel before launching many projects and the spending of millions or more on fraudulent equipment and such.
Researchers Babylon: the staff of the state departments suffer from poor organization of their income monthly
In the midst of the issues with the 2014 budget someone has found time to analyze the Iraqi state employees and claims they do not do well in regards to organizing their monthly income.....they tend to keep their funds at home be they currency or gold....they don't save in an organized way nor do they invest.....there is a tendency to not put much faith in the banking system....at least in the past....they buy gold on the premise that it appears to continually be increasing in value....some are looking to buy land for the same reason....there needs to be a rebuilding and growth within the banking and investment sectors such that citizens will begin to put faith in them.....this may even include restructuring the CBI....that should prove interesting.
High cash reserves to 80 billion dollars and 80 tonnes of gold
This article does a great job of painting stability of the dinar against the USD....pointing out the cash reserves have reached $80 billion dollars....but the real key announcement here....if it is to be trusted....is that they have raised gold reserves from 30 tons to 80 tons....remember the articles in past weeks that talked about them buying up to 5 tons per month.....well that just didn't add up to me....if they did this for 2013 that would add 60 tons of gold to their reserves....well if this article and this MP is to be trusted it makes some sense now......and lastly.....this stability will also lead to an increase in value of the dinar.
Protection of bank deposits / Mohammed Abu Sharif Mayssam
Perhaps there does need to be some protection of deposits through enactment of banking laws or modifications or amendments to existing laws....I think another help to their banking sector would be the monetary reform itself....in addition they probably could beef up their banking security measures that would give both the public and investors an improved faith in the whole process.
Shaways: the story of al-Maliki positions need to know how to analyze or solve it
VP Shaways is saying that the economic stranglehold that Maliki is invoking on the Kurds should not be happening....that according to the Iraqi constitution they have a right to their portion of the budget and these salaries should not be used against them....he also points to the upcoming elections that they should be transparent and be done on time. He is not a friend of Maliki it seems as he too is a Kurd.
Deputy from the Liberal: We made a proposal to raise the points of contention in the budget law and approval of the rest of the points
During the Monday meeting of heads of political blocs the Liberal bloc raised a proposal for the budget that lifted the points of contention....and sought agreement on the rest of the budget....it remains unclear if he got support from the other blocs or not on this move.....stressing that the Liberal bloc remains unified and coherent even with the loss of Sadr and people.
Kurdistan reveals near the end of the crisis, "Erbil - Baghdad."
The Kurds appear to be at a "final" stage regarding the budget crisis....not sure if this means they are near an agreement with Baghdad......or if this means, as indicated earlier by Barzani that they are not going back to Baghdad until the salary issue is resolved, they do state here that the action taken by Baghdad is not constitutional.
Uniting calling on the government to launch a budget for the salaries and allowances of the staff of the Kurdistan
Today we hear noise from the Coalition United....Speaker Najafi's bloc.....they are speaking out against the economic stranglehold that Maliki and gang have on the Kurd employees.....stating this is wrong and should be repaired immediately....sounds like maybe they could be talked back to the table.....glad to see them sticking up for the Kurds at this point.....they probably see the handwriting on the wall....that Maliki could do the same to them.
American Business Council of Kurdistan review its activities in the Kurdistan Region
There was a review of US business activity within the Kurdistan region by the American Business Council....the meeting was held in Erbil and spotlighted good things that have drawn American businesses to the Kurd region. Their interactions continue to grow and foster good relationships from a business sense. This year there will be multiple conference opportunities both in the US and in the Kurdistan that will continue to foster bilateral business relationships between the two. The Kurds are still working hard to attract other US business entities to the region in the future to help with their rebuilding efforts.
Officials as a response: the central government to deliberately delay payments and cut the last two months ago to put pressure on Kurdistan.
I am thinking that Maliki needs to be listening to what is being said by many different political blocs in Parliament.....they do not like the avenue taken by the federal government....believing it to be unconstitutional....and that payment should be made to Kurd employees.....they also believe that there needs to be greater transparency on the sale of Kurd oil and proper payment made to Baghdad in the prescribed time frame....in other words stop making each other mad....and get back to the issue at hand....the budget.
Heated race to buy voters' cards in Kirkuk .. and the price of 100 thousand dinars to $ 500
While the newness of these voter registration cards is still being considered there are reports of the cards being sold for 100,000 dinars and up to $500 USD.....it seems that officials of the Independent Higher Commission for Elections are scratching their head as to how another individual will be able to use these cards once they are procured......the cards are designed to create more transparency in elections than ever before.....there will also be international observers at polling stations but it remains unclear what will happen if someone tries to use a purchased card.
Karbala «bankrupt» until 2016 the accumulation of debt and aid Baghdad for "religious events" is not enough
The province of Karbala has worked itself into a pickle due to poor money management and extremely poor oversight of construction contracts in the province.....they are now unable to pay contractors for even work done in the past....it sounds as though there needs to be some type of accountability manager or director position created that has some clout behind the title to deal with immediate issues on many fronts.
Barzani "gives" Najafi as president
Talk about you grease my hand and I'll grease yours as well.....wow....so earlier we had reports of Najafi going to visit the Kurds to help settle the differences with Baghdad.....now the real story seems to be leaking out.....it was a trip full of political undertones.....Najafi seeks the position that Talabani now holds as President of the Republic...and he sees that the Kurds could help him in that way when it comes time to designate who will get that position.....Najafi apparently can keep his bloc...Coalition United....from attending Parliament until the Kurds are ready for a reading/vote on the budget....oh the dealings of politics...never should they ever be surprising....underhanded yes....but surprising...no.
Talabani's party: a failed policy of the Kurdistan oil
Even Talabani is now recognizing that the way the Kurds were handling their oil was not good.....they were not following requirements set forth by federal government....by doing so they weakened their position with western countries like the UK and US....to move forward they must be willing to follow federal requirements....will Talabani's words fall on deaf ears though.
Parliament to raise its next Thursday
Apparently there was a quorum on the Parliament floor today and a number of laws were read for the first and second times....but no budget bill was on the agenda....next session will be Thursday.
Parliamentary Finance: the budget deficit in 2014 exceeds 40 billion dollars
The budget deficit has ranged anywhere between 30 and 50 trillion dinar.....now settling at least for the time being at $40 billion dollars....blamed mostly now on the Retirement Law....pointing out that the deficit will adversely affect investment projects for 2014....and there still remains concern over the price of oil through 2014....though the budget is working off of $90/barrel.
Researchers and politicians: Iraq does not yet know the meaning of the federal and political conflicts preclude application
A recent conference by Iraqi researchers and politicians admitted that the Iraqi society does not understand the terms federalism or decentralization of government and there needs to be great education efforts made in this direction. Apparently there is a great deal of work to be done in this area....who is going to pick up such an undertaking.
Citizens Hnگaleon: al-Maliki in the footsteps of Saddam .. sick dreams go unheeded
With the economic stranglehold that Maliki has placed on the Kurd region employees he is being likened to Saddam and his madman reign where he killed many in the Kurdish region....stating that Maliki is now basically doing the same only in a more calculated and slow rate.....they should never agree to the budget as long as Maliki's ways continue.
Electoral Commission warns against buying electronic voter cards
As they should the Electoral Commission is warning against the buying of voter id cards....they threaten the maximum penalty for such tampering....don't forget....if you don't have your card...you can't vote.
Standard Chartered makes New Appointment for Iraq
Standard Chartered made an appointment announcement today to one of its major positions within the bank in Baghdad signaling their commitment to stay in Iraq and grow....they will be opening offices later this year in Basra and Erbil.
Iraq Leads Region with $519bn in Planned Projects
Iraq stands at the top of the ME heap when it comes to planned or in the works infrastructure projects.....now they just need to buy into a budget to get some of these projects off the ground....or to restart those that ground to a halt.
Distribution of salaries of the staff of the Kurdistan next Sunday
The Kurdish Ministry of Finance will be distributing salary money to Kurdish employees on Sunday....they will not distribute to the President, government or Parliament of Kurdistan until all employees are dealt with first....got to wonder where this money came from.....poof...out of thin air.
Iraq agrees to two decades to develop an oil field operated by « Eni » Italian
Threaten to live Iraq and they jump through hoops to keep you there.....so it seems if you are an oil and gas company....they fully understand where their bread comes from and who butters it as well....good luck to ENI in their quest with the contracts issues.
Monthly salary of 105 000 unemployed dinars within the Care Act
The Law of Social Protection will help those who are unable to work by providing them with 105,000 dinar....this is covered under the Social Welfare Act.....to be voted upon perhaps at the next Parliament session.
[Where] published the text of the Law on Social Protection, passed by Parliament today
This bill passed the Parliament today....I have not had time to study it in depth....went through it quickly but did not see any flags about it that would affect us.
Sabah al-Saadi requires the government to send the Social Security Act and solving problems with the province
An independent MP is suggesting that the government send the Social Security Act thru Parliament as it differs from the Labor Law and Social Welfare.....the same MP also called for the Kurds and Baghdad to put aside their differences and come to an agreement....there is too much at stake that adversely affects Iraqi citizens to continue with their bickering.
Kirkuk's Arabs are demanding the "e-card": did not hand over the 30% of voters
The Arabs of Kirkuk are demanding that the Electoral Commission step up their efforts to hand out the e-cards to the public....they have not even gotten 30% out at this point....and there is less than 2 months to the elections....it is good to see others encouraging the Electoral Commission to do better...that indicates a strong interest in seeing these new cards work.
Turkey: trade with Iraq exceeded 12 billion dollars in 2013
The trade exchange between Turkey and Iraq exceeded $12 billion dollars in 2013 and Turkey is interested in seeing that grow more especially with greater association with the province of Nineveh.
I haven't looked but I believe this to be a fairly extensive list of summaries.....for the morning.....more later.