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Council of Ministers – Regular Updates

Council of Ministers – Regular Updates

The Kurdistan Regional Government Council of Ministers meets regularly to discuss new policies and decisions. In this article, you will find a constantly updated list of summaries of the meetings and the links to their respective original sources.

 

  • 2020 10 07: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani presided over a cabinet meeting to discuss the progress achieved to date on the implementation of the government’s reform agenda. The Council reviewed a report produced by the High-Level Reforms Committee covering the implementation progress of the 2020 Reform Law over the past three months and issued recommendations for next steps as the Kurdistan Regional Government carries out further reforms in all sectors. Cabinet members tasked the Ministry of Finance and Economy to align the public sector payroll’s timeline with the federal government’s timetable for the disbursement of the Kurdistan Region’s share of the monthly budget.

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  • 2020 09 30: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet meeting to discuss recent developments in disputed areas. Highlighting ongoing threats to political stability and security of disputed territories, Minister of Interior Rebar Ahmad and Minister of State Khalid Shwani provided the Council of Ministers a report outlining the Kurdistan Regional Government’s approach for the resumption of dialogue with Baghdad on the status of these areas. Aiming to progress on various points of contention between the federal government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Cabinet approved the roadmap for the continuation of talks, and agreed to send a delegation to Baghdad to advocate once more for the full implementation of article 140 of the Iraqi constitution. The Cabinet also called on the federal government to no longer delay the transfer of Erbil’s share of the national budget so that public sector salaries may be disbursed. The Council of Ministers approved a proposal from Ministry of Finance and Economy to reduce public sector salary cuts from 21 percent to 18 percent, alleviating ongoing austerity measures.

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  • 2020 09 16: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet meeting to discuss dialogue on ongoing disputes with the federal government. In the meeting attended the Cabinet described Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s recent visit to the Kurdistan Region as a positive gesture and reiterated the government’s commitment for a constitutional agreement that protects the interests of both parties. The Prime Minister stressed that disputes with Baghdad cannot be reduced to oil and budgetary issues alone, but also the need to normalise conditions in disputed territories. Deputy Prime Minister Talabani then briefed the cabinet on recent talks with Baghdad to reach a lasting solution.

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  • 2020 09 02: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet meeting on safely reopening schools and universities. In the meeting the Cabinet discussed proposals form the Ministries of Education and Higher Education. The Cabinet also reviewed a report by Minister of Health on the latest coronavirus infections, as well as the ongoing battle to contain the virus. The Council of Ministers debated ways to reopen schools and minimise new outbreaks, and voted for online learning for the first semester, except for twelfth-graders who study on campus. In that regard, Ministries of Education and Higher Education have been tasked to prepare health and safety guidelines for in-person learning, and set a date for the new school year.

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  • 2020 08 17: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet today via videoconference to discuss the current financial situation and public sector salaries. In the meeting the Cabinet decided to pay public sector salaries fairly and in accordance with income. Until an agreement is reached with Baghdad on budget issues, salaries will be paid based on monthly revenues and federal payments from Baghdad. The Council of Ministers also discussed the latest developments in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic, noting that fatality and infection rates have surged.

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  • 2020 08 13: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet meeting via videoconference to discuss current financial situation and dialogue with Baghdad on outstanding problems. In the meeting attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, the Council recognised ongoing efforts by the government’s high-level delegation to resolve ongoing disputes with the federal government on the basis of the Iraqi constitution. While the delegation has accepted all federal conditions within the constitution, the Iraqi government has yet to send to the Kurdistan Region its share of the budget for more than three months.

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  • 2020 07 15: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet meeting via videoconference to discuss plans for the public pensions fund. In the meeting attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, Minister of Finance and Economy Awat Janab Noori proposer the bylaws for the pensions fund. The Cabinet unanimously approved it. This fund will protect entitlements of all public sector employees. According to the new bylaws, the revenues accumulated will be used exclusively to pay pensions.

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  • 2020 07 08: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet meeting via videoconference to discuss the second phase of the biometric programme and current situation in the agriculture sector. In the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani presented a roadmap on the biometric programme, highlighting key benefits for the public sector. Following an exchange, the Council of Ministers approved the second phase as part of the commitment to reform agenda and digital transformation. During the meeting, Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources Begard Dlshad Shukralla stressed the need to reorganise public contracts in a way that bolsters the sector and prevents misuse of agricultural lands.

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  • 2020 07 02: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday chaired a cabinet meeting via videoconference to discuss the measures necessary to implement the reform agenda and ongoing disputes with Baghdad. In the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani presented a report on recent talks with the federal government, highlighting proposed solutions to outstanding problems. He also thanked the high-level delegation for defending Kurdistan Region’s constitutional rights. The Cabinet then decided that dialogue with Baghdad will continue in an attempt to reach an agreement that protects Kurdistan Region’s constitutional rights and entitlements. The Council of Ministers unanimously approved the legal framework, which will be a legal basis for joint projects by the public and private sectors, creating equal opportunities for companies to work and compete.

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  • 2020 06 22: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a meeting via videoconference to discuss ongoing disputes with the federal government.In the meeting, also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, the Prime Minister spoke about recent discussions between Baghdad and Erbil, and reiterated the government’s willingness to find a solution within the framework of the Iraqi constitution. In that regard, the Cabinet agreed for the government’s high-level delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Talabani to return to Baghdad on Tuesday. Prime Minister Barzani emphasised the importance of a comprehensive solution that clearly stipulates the duties and rights of both sides, and serves the interests of both.

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  • 2020 06 21: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet via videoconference to discuss the current financial situation and efforts to cope with the economic slowdown caused by the global corona virus pandemic. In the meeting, also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, the Council of Ministers noted a significant deficit caused by delayed payments from Baghdad, the coronavirus pandemic, and falling oil prices. The Cabinet recognised the hard work of healthcare workers and security forces who are on the frontlines of fighting this disease, and the economic strain on government employees.The Cabinet then made some decisions in an effort to ease the impact on public sector employees: including paying 79% of salaries for officials and cutting by 50% the salaries of senior officials, such as the President, the Prime Minister, and Cabinet members. At the same time, the high-level government delegation for negotiations with the federal government is assigned to try to reach a deal on the Kurdistan Region’s financial entitlements.

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  • 2020 06 17: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet meeting via video conference to discuss expenses and the need to adapt to the current budget while protecting public entitlements. Tthe Council of Ministers stressed their continued commitment to reducing salaries of senior officials, including those retired with high pay brackets. These meetings will continue until next Sunday. During the meeting, the Cabinet extended the deadline to pay public water and electricity bills with 15% discount until September 1, 2020. The Cabinet also agreed that a delegation will return to Baghdad next week as part of continued efforts to reach an agreement within the framework of the Iraqi constitution.

                  Read the original article here

 

  • 2020 06 10: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a meeting with the government’s high-level committee on the coronavirus outbreak via video conference. In the meeting, also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, the Minister of Health presented a detailed report on the increasing number of infections and fatalities in the Kurdistan Region due to a recent surge in Covid-19 cases. The Minister of Interior then presented a report on government measures to enforce compliance with the government’s health advice.

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  • 2020 06 03: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet meeting to discuss details of recent negotiations with the federal government on outstanding disputes and progress with the implementation of the reform law. The Prime Minister spoke about a recent surge in the number of coronavirus infections and fatalities in the Kurdistan Region, and extended his condolences to the families of the dead. The Prime Minister also talked about the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, in which the Kurdistan Region will take part. The Council of Ministers elected Head of the Diwan of the Kurdistan Region Presidency as the KRG Representative in these talks. The KRG High Committee on Reform then presented a report on the latest progress in the implementation of the Reform Law.

                  Read the original article here

 

  • 2020 05 13: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet meeting in Erbil on Wednesday to discuss economic conditions in the Kurdistan Region and outstanding problems with the federal government. In the meeting, which was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, the Prime Minister wished success to the new Iraqi cabinet, and stressed the need for a constitutional solution to ongoing issues between Erbil and Baghdad. The cabinet discussed proposed draft bills covering the selling and renting of public properties, investment, and patients’ rights. Relevant departments in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) were assigned to prepare final drafts for parliament.

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  • 2020 05 07: Deputy Prime Minister Talabani briefed the cabinet on recent talks with the federal authorities on budgetary issues and oil exports. The KRG has made some decisions to reduce government spending. The cabinet also made some decisions to reduce the financial burden on those affected by the public health measures against the coronavirus.

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  • 2020 04 01: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a video conference cabinet meeting today to discuss the Kurdistan Region’s financial situation in light of the coronavirus pandemic, its economic implications, the drop in oil prices and the government’s plans to reform public expenditure. The Kurdistan Regional Government decided unanimously that their main priority is keeping civil servants’ pay unchanged, while members of the cabinet agreed to offer half of their wages and bonuses for the next two months to the government treasury, for redistribution to low-income families. The ministers of education and higher education presented a report on the state of schools and learning centers across the region, and the cabinet supported a plan for the consolidation of the school year through online courses.

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  • 2020 02 12: The cabinet meeting focussed on the implementation of the KRG’s ambitious Reform Law. Prime Minister Barzani emphasised the significance of the KRG’s modernisation efforts, which will enhance the efficiency of all government sectors and streamline the delivery of services to the public. It was also agreed that the cabinet, as part of its core responsibilities, will consider the restructuring the Kurdistan Region’s revenues and expenditures to bring greater transparency to the oil and gas sectors.

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  • 2020 01 22: The cabinet discussed implementing best practice for the taxation system of the Kurdistan Region. The framework updates current auditing practices and increases the transparency of the taxation system. Prime Minister Barzani emphasised his cabinet’s commitment to an ambitious reform agenda, notably tax revenue reform in the Kurdistan Region, which will ensure fair implementation of the system and provide the government with the enhanced enforcement tools. During the cabinet meeting, the KRG also approved the merging of the High Institute for Audits and Accounting with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, bolstering their research capabilities and raising scientific standards.

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  • 2020 01 15: Prime Minister Barzani welcomed the cabinet’s support for the government’s reforms, which will provide more fairness and transparency concerning the reorganisation of public sector salaries and pensions. The cabinet also discussed how public-private partnerships might be utilised in modernisation projects. Prime Minister Barzani expressed his support for a pilot project, and requested that the Ministry of Planning examines it in more detail.

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  • 2020 01 08: Prime Minister Barzani called on all sides to avoid any further escalation, warning that conflict and instability could lead to the re-emergence of terrorist groups such as ISIS. He affirmed that the KRG will continue to cooperate with its partners, including the Global Coalition and Iraqi security forces, as it seeks to maintain regional security. The cabinet also discussed the meeting between the KRG and the Kurdistan Parliament’s Finance and Economy Affairs Committee to examine the government’s draft reform bill, which will soon be voted on by the Kurdistan Parliament.

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  • 2019 12 11: The cabinet approved the draft Reform Bill by a majority vote. The Bill has now been sent to the Kurdistan Parliament for debate. The Reform Bill represents the latest in a series of steps taken to transform the civil service, increasing transparency and creating a fair system for hardworking public sector employees. The Bill includes a series of measures designed to provide more certainty and accountability on salaries, pensions and allowances for public servants.

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  • 2019 12 04: PM Barzani welcomed the efforts to strengthen KRG’s relationship with Baghdad. He affirmed the government’s full support for the delegation leading negotiations to ensure that the draft budget bill takes into consideration the interests of the people of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. Minister of Electricity, Kamal Mohammed Salih provided an update on measures undertaken to minimise energy interruptions as winter approaches.

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  • 2019 11 27: As part of efforts by the new KRG to establish a stable relationship with the Iraqi federal government, Prime Minister Barzani reaffirmed the importance of supporting the delegation leading negotiations with Baghdad. Minister of Municipalities and Tourism, Sasan Awni, presented a study on private water consumption and waste across the Kurdistan Region, whereas Minister of Electricity, Kamal Mohammed Salih, updated the cabinet on efforts to minimise interruptions in the delivery of energy as winter approaches.

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  • 2019 11 13: During the meeting, Minister of Peshmerga Shoresh Ismael presented a detailed report on his ministry’s structure and expenditures, stressing the government’s important role in supporting the reform process for Peshmerga affairs. On the latest developments in Baghdad, Region Minister Khalid Salam Saaed highlighted the Federal Supreme Court’s recent amendment to the Iraqi Provincial Law. Following a successful intervention by the Kurdistan Parliament the amended law now allows displaced individuals to vote from outside their province of birth.

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  • 2019 11 06: Prime Minister Barzani expressed his support for the vital contribution of the Kurdistan Region’s hardworking teacher. The KRG agreed to employ all current contract-based public teachers on a permanent basis. The KRG were also presented with a comprehensive report by the Minister of Anfal and Martyrs Affairs, Abdullah Mahmood Mohammad, following which the KRG stated that the fulfilment of therights and entitlements of the victims will form part of the KRG’s ongoing discussions with Baghdad.

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  • 2019 10 30: In light of the ongoing protests, Prime Minister Barzani called for restraint by all sides, reiterating his hope that a peaceful resolution can be found. While welcoming the successful operation to remove Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi as a definitive step in the fight against ISIS, the Prime Minister warned that the terrorist organisation remains a threat. Regarding the instability in Syria, teh Cabinet approved a proposal by the Minister of Interior to establish a humanitarian emergency response fund.

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  • 2019 10 23: Underscoring the need for stability in Iraq, Prime Minister Barzani outlined how a strong partnership between the federal government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government would strengthen the country’s ability to protect its people. The Prime Minister also reaffirmed the Kurdistan Regional Government’s commitment to providing basic services and aid to the 1.1 million displaced people who are seeking refuge in the Kurdistan Region.

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  • 2019 10 09: Addressing the recent developments in Syria, Prime Minister Barzani affirmed that any military escalation in the country’s north-east would have severe consequences beyond the Syrian border. The Prime Minister called on all parties to engage in dialogue to de-escalate the situation and prevent the loss of innocent lives and further displacement of people toward vulnerable areas or the Kurdistan Region.

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  • 2019 10 02: The Cabinet reviewed mechanisms to manage public debt and obligations. Furthermore, ministers were tasked to explore jobs for top graduates, while also reaffirmirming legal obligations of confidentiality KRG employees owe to the government and the Kurdistani people.

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  • 2019 09 18: The ministers decided to fully implement legislation on intellectual property rights. In recognition of the importance of the Kurdistan Region’s agricultural workers, the KRG agreed that it would remove the debts of around 9,000 farmers. This falls in line with the government’s effort to develop and diversify the Region’s economy. In order to enhance security and facilitate trade, a committee responsible for the coordination of entry points was elected.

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  • 2019 09 11: The meeting approved an overhaul of the Kurdistan Region’s taxation system. The formation of a special committee to oversee preparations for the Iraqi national census in 2020 was discussed. A delegation was formed to meet with Iraqi federal representatives to ensure that the Kurdistan Region’s interests are represented in the 2020 Iraqi budget.

                  Read the original article here 

 

  • 2019 07 30: Technical commitees to negotiate with Baghdad were formed. It was decided that all revenues will be administered by the Ministry of Finance and Economy. The Council of Ministers also began to review a new draft law regulating government pensions, salaries and allowances.

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  • 2019 07 22: The importance of digital government was reiterated. The new KRG portal (gov.krd) will serve as a single platform consolidating information from all government bodies. The Prime Minister empowered ministers to issue new regulations to speed up bureaucracy.

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