Iraq PM Vows to Continue Economic, Financial Reform

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi considered that the state budget relying by 95 percent on oil revenues is evidence of the failure of former administration policies.

Source: Asharq Alawsat

He vowed to seek the support of non-oil resources and to carry forward the mantle of economic reform to face the growing financial crisis.

Kadhimi’s statements came during a visit to the oil ministry in Baghdad where he held a meeting with the acting oil minister and high-ranking officials.

According to a statement issued by the PM’s office, Kadhimi was keen to visit the ministry because of “its importance and role in sustaining the Iraqi economy.”

“The public budget depends on oil revenues at 95 percent, in evidence of previous policy failures. The government is working to maximize other revenues, and to turn oil revenues into development work projects that serve the Iraqi economy,” Kadhimi said.

The prime minister pointed out that his government is studying the possibility of establishing an investment fund that gives a better future for coming Iraqi generations. The fund aims at equally distributing oil revenues across generations.

Iraq suffers from chronic mismanagement of resources, made even worse by plummeting oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

Kadhimi stressed that he will “not back down from financial and economic reform in the country.”

“There are ongoing discussions on the expected reforms, despite political attempts to disrupt them.”

Iraq’s newly appointed oil minister, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, considered Kadhimi’s visit to the ministry as a display of great interest in developing and supporting the energy sector.

“The oil ministry is working to achieve the government program which contributes to effective investment in national resources and boosting revenues,” Jabbar said, stressing that the ministry is adopting robust mechanisms to market Iraqi oil.

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