Unpacking the Policies: Key Decisions from Iraq’s 39th Regular Session of the Council of Ministers
Chaired by PM Muhammed S Al Sudani, the 39th Regular Session of the Council of Ministers highlighted a discussion on government program priorities and pressing national issues. Al Sudani shared insights from his recent participation at the United Nations General Assembly meetings, emphasizing the fostering of economic partnerships and boosting Iraq’s international cooperation. A significant highlight from his UN meetings was Iraq’s demonstrated commitment to resolving disputes with Kuwait, particularly the navigation issue in Khor Abdullah, via rational dialogue and mutual understanding.
National Day Celebrations and Currency Reform
In celebration of Iraq’s National Day, Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023, was declared an official holiday for all government ministries and institutions. In a bold move towards financial and administrative reform, it was decided that all state contracts executed within Iraq would be denominated in Iraqi dinars, except for those opened through external documentary credits. The Ministry of Planning is tasked with compiling a list of past state contracts originally in U.S dollars. This list will be forwarded to the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Iraq, thereby establishing a maximum monthly limit for covering these contracts in U.S dollars.
The cabinet endorsed the Ministerial Council for the Economy’s recommendation to postpone collecting debts associated with fees and fines owed by the General Iron and Steel Company. Concurrently, the Ministry of Transportation was tasked with establishing an efficient process for the prompt clearance of goods from the ports to prevent any fines due to delays.
Endorsements for Energy Projects
The Cabinet gave its approval to the Ministerial Council for Energy’s recommendations regarding the gas gathering and compression project in the Nasiriyah oil field. The Iraqi Jordanian electrical interconnection project contract also received endorsement, with amendments to accommodate a new preparation period and revised terms.
In an effort to advance the oil sector and enhance export infrastructure, the Ministry of Finance deposited the full cost of two marine pipeline projects and a new marine platform with the Trade Bank of Iraq. The Ministries of Planning and Oil are now tasked with covering the entire cost of the project, including annual allocations specified in the investment budget for the years 2023-2026.
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