Kurdistan Region delegation to visit to Baghdad in coming days: minister
A Kurdistan Region delegation will travel to Baghdad on Saturday or Sunday for meetings with federal officials, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of Planning Dara Rashid said.

During a press conference on Thursday, January 21, Rashid said that Erbil hopes to reach an agreement with federal authorities about the draft 2021 Federal Budget Law, currently under consideration in the Council of Representatives.

 “A high-level political delegation may travel to Baghdad later for the same purpose,” he said.

In late December, a Kurdistan Region delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani returned to Erbil saying that a deal had been reached, but subsequent statements by KRG, federal, and party officials appeared to indicate that there was more work to be done, NRT reported.

During the press conference, Rashid also disputed rumors that Erbil will cut public sector salaries this coming month by 35 percent.

“That allegation is baseless and no decision like that has been made,” said Rashid who is a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), a ruling party in the Kurdish autonomous region in the north of Iraq.

Regarding plans to draft a budget for the Kurdish region, he said that his ministry is working to have one ready for the Kurdistan Parliament by March, which can then be implemented starting in April.

The Kurdistan Region has not passed a budget since 2013.

“If we reach an agreement with the [federal] government, we will have three sources of income, including the budget share coming from Baghdad, plus our oil and non-oil incomes,” Rashid said.

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