Iraqi budget in the analysis telescope in Basra

Amira Al Saad 30 October 2021

 On Saturday, 30 October 2021, Iraqi Alliance for Transparency in The Extractive Industries in cooperation with THER Development Center, held a dialogue session to analyze Iraq’s general budget in 2021, with the participation of 27 civil activists and specialists from the Iraqi Alliance for Transparency in Extractive Industries and other organizations from Basra, Muthanna, Maysan and DhiQar provinces, with the support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORD).

The dialogue was moderated by economist Dr. Nabil Abdul Reza Al- Musawi, head of the Economics Department at the Faculty of Management and Economics at Basra University.

At the beginning of his discussions, the lecturer explained the pros and cons of the current budget, and its location among the types of budgets used globally, namely (traditional budget, performance program budget where it gives great importance to government programs, planning budget and zero budget used by the United States, for example).

The analysis was noted in the process of reducing government allocations to important sectors such as housing, agriculture and industry despite their importance, while the dominance of other sectors such as oil and defense was noted.

Attendees agreed on the importance of a plan for economic reform and diversification of revenues to meet the challenges of high operating expenditures, fluctuating other incomes and weak non-oil exports. Any reform plan must provide a solution to the need to manage public finances, economic diversification and end the rent of full reliance on oil. For two decades, the Iraqi economy has suffered damage that has caused significant sectors such as agriculture, industry, investment and trade to decline.

The budget lacked a clear development and economic vision and quantitative indicators for some of the target sectors, economic growth rates, per capita income growth, employment levels growth, etc.