*** CONTENT OF THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE DISCUSSES STABILITY OF THE IRAQI DINAR, INTERESTING I THINK ***
Finance parliamentary: No supplementary budget this year
21-07-2013 | (صوت العراق) - 21-07-2013 | (Voice of Iraq) - أضف تعليق
بغداد - الاء الطائي BAGHDAD - Alaa al-Tai
نفت اللجنة المالية في مجلس النواب وجود موازنة تكميلية هذا العام لوجود عجز مالي حقيقي في الموازنة بسبب قلة واردات بيع النفط الخام للاشهر الستة الاولى من هذه السنة. Denied the Finance Committee in the House of Representatives and a supplementary budget this year to the existence of a genuine fiscal deficit due to lack of budget and sale of crude oil imports for the first six months of this year.
وفيما رجحت تأجيل موضوع حذف الاصفار من العملة الى الدورة النيابية المقبلة، كشفت عن مؤشرات لانتعاش قيمة الدينار بشكل اكبر من الحالي. As suggested postponing the subject of deletion of zeros from the currency to the next parliamentary session, revealed signs of recovery in the value of the dinar larger than the current.
وأقر مجلس النواب في آذار الماضي موازنة البلاد المالية للعام الحالي بقيمة 118 مليار دولار، وهي الأكبر في تاريخ العراق. The House of Representatives passed last March the country's financial budget for the current year of $ 118 billion, the largest in the history of Iraq.
وكانت اللجنة المالية قد توقعت في حزيران الماضي بان تقدم الحكومة موازنة تكميلية للعام الحالي بقيمة 14 مليار دولار. The Finance Committee had predicted last June that the government would provide a supplemental budget for the current year of $ 14 billion.
وتعرف الموازنة التكميلية على انها الميزانية الإضافية التي يتم إعدادها بعد مرور ستة أشهر من السنة لضبط النفقات الإضافية والإيرادات الإضافية أيضا. Known as the supplementary budget as additional budget that is prepared after six months of the year to adjust the additional expenses and additional revenue as well.
عجز مالي Fiscal deficit
رئيس اللجنة المالية النيابية حيدر العبادي اكد في تصريح لـ”المركز الخبري لشبكة الاعلام العراقي”، ان “الموازنة التكميلية لم ولن تصل الى مجلس النواب هذا العام جراء حدوث عجز حقيقي في الموازنة”. Chairman of the parliamentary Finance Committee Haider al-Abadi said in a statement the "Center Brief for the Iraqi Media Network," "The supplementary budget has not and will not reach the House of Representatives this year due to a real deficit in the budget."
واضاف العبادي انه وبحسب توقعات الحكومة فلن تكون هناك ميزانية تكميلية وسيتم الغاؤها لهذا العام بسبب قلة واردات بيع النفط الخام للاشهر الستة الاولى من السنة خلافا للتوقعات والتقديرات ما انعكس على الموازنة التكميلية والتي من المعروف انها تستند الى فائض الموازنة للنصف الاول من العام. He added Abadi said, according to the government's expectations, there will be a supplementary budget will be canceled this year due to lack of imports sale of crude oil for the first six months of the year, contrary to expectations and estimates reflected on the supplementary budget, which is known to be based on the budget surplus for the first half of the year.
يذكر ان الموازنة التكميلية التي قدمتها الحكومة العام الماضي تبلغ 10 مليارات دولار، إلا أن البرلمان رفضها وتم تدوير المبالغ إلى موازنة العام الحالي.ونفى رئيس اللجنة المالية وجود اي مؤشرات لانهيار اسعار صرف الدينار العراقي، معتقدا بان الدينار العراقي ما زال قويا بالنسبة لاسعار التضخم.وقال العبادي: انه وبحسب معطيات السوق فانه لا توجد اي مؤشرات لانهيار اسعار صرف الدينار العراقي، مبينا ان الدينار العراقي ما زال قويا بالنسبة لاسعار التضخم، موضحا ان هناك تضخما تناقصيا وليس تزايديا بالنسبة الى بعض السلع، مستثنيا في حديثه حدوث ارتفاع طفيف لاسعار بعض السلع في رمضان لفترة قصيرة نتيجة احتكار التجار.ورأى العبادي ان اسعار صرف الدينار العراقي اليوم معقولة بحسب الاقتصاديين باستثناء ايام منفردة يتزايد فيها الطلب على الدولار ما يؤدي الى انخفاض سعر صرف الدينار.وكان سعر صرف الدينار العراقي قد شهد منذ فترة تذبذبا كبيرا في الاسعار، اذ وصل سعر صرف الدينار العراقي امام الدولار الاميركي نحو 1300 دينار لكل دولار، لكن خروج العراق من الفصل السابع واتخاذ اجراءات سريعة خفضا سعر الصرف بشكل لا بأس به. The supplementary budget submitted by the government last year, amounting to $ 10 billion, but the parliament rejected been recycling amounts to the current year budget. Denied the head of the Finance Committee and there is no sign of the collapse of the price of the Iraqi dinar exchange, believing that the Iraqi dinar remains strong for price inflation. Ebadi said: It is, according to market data, it does not exist any indicators for the collapse of the price of the Iraqi dinar exchange, noting that the Iraqi dinar remains strong for price inflation, pointing out that there is inflation تناقصيا and not incremental in relation to certain goods, excluding Speaking a slight increase of the prices of some goods in September for a short period as a result monopoly merchants. saw Abadi, the price of the Iraqi dinar exchange today reasonable, according to economists with the exception days alone is increasing the demand for the dollar leads to the low exchange rate of the dinar. was the Iraqi dinar exchange rate has seen since the period fluctuated significantly in price, as arrived in the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar against the U.S. dollar around 1,300 dinars per dollar, but the withdrawal of Iraq from Chapter VII and take quick measures the exchange rate cuts quite a bit.
Basra politicians: oil giants consume كهرباءنا and companies "without the efficiency of" retard dreams current
21-07-2013 | (صوت العراق) - 21-07-2013 | (Voice of Iraq) - أضف تعليق
بغداد/ وائل نعمة Baghdad / Wael grace
كشف نواب ومسؤولون محليون في البصرة، أن المحافظة تحصل على اقل من نصف إنتاجها من الطاقة الكهربائية، ولفتوا إلى أن المنطقة الغنية بالنفط ما تزال تعاني من أبسط مشاكل الكهرباء في العالم وهي نقل وتوزيع الطاقة، مشيرين إلى ان المشاريع الصناعية وخاصة تلك التي ينفذها عمالقة البترول، تستهلك من حصة السكان نسبة كبيرة. Detection deputies and local officials in Basra, that the preservation of getting less than half of its production of electric power, and drew to the oil-rich region is still suffering from the most basic problems of electricity in the world and is the power transmission and distribution, noting that industrial projects, especially those carried out by the giants of petroleum , the share of the population consumes a large proportion.
وشهدت محافظة البصرة الايام الماضية تظاهرات ليلية بعد وقت الإفطار في مناطق متفرقة من المحافظة احتجاجا على تردي وضع التيار الكهربائي وخروج بعض المناطق من نظام البرمجة في القطع والتشغيل والإطفاء التام فيها، وطالب المتظاهرون خلالها بمحاسبة المقصرين عن تردي وضع الكهرباء. Basra province has seen the past few days demonstrations night after breakfast time in different parts of the province to protest against the deterioration of voltage mode and exit some areas of programming in the system and cutting operating and full amortization, during which demonstrators called for negligent accounting for the deterioration of electricity mode.
وأفاد النائب المستقل عن البصرة جواد البزوني لـ "المدى" بأن البصرة تحصل على اقل من نصف ما تنتجه للشبكة الوطنية من الطاقة الكهربائية. According to the independent MP Basra Jawad Albzona, the "long" that Basra is getting less than half of what is produced by the National Network of electric power.
وذكر البزوني أن "البصرة تعاني أكثر من باقي المحافظات من مشكلة الكهرباء بسبب ارتفاع درجة الحرارة ومعدلات الرطوبة"، مشيرا الى ان "سكان البصرة شعروا بالإحباط بعد أن تراجعت معدلات التجهيز عن السنة الماضية من 12 ساعة الى ٦ ساعات فقط". The Albzona said that "Basra is suffering more than the rest of the provinces of the problem of electricity due to high temperature and humidity rates," adding that "the people of Basra felt frustrated after processing rates fell over the past year from 12 hours to 6 hours only."
وكشف البزوني أن "المحافظة حصلت على وعود من قبل الحكومة بالحصول على 18 ساعة ولكن لم تحصل سوى على اقل من النصف فقط"، مؤكدا ان مشكلة الكهرباء في المحافظة موجودة بكل مفاصلها من التوليد والتوزيع ونقل الطاقة. The Albzona revealed that "the province got promises by the government to obtain 18 hours but did not get only less than half only," stressing that the problem of electricity in the province found in all joints of the generation and distribution and energy transfer.
واوضح ان "البصرة تنتج من الطاقة التي تحولها إلى الشبكة الوطنية، اكثر من 1500ميغاواط، لكن ما تحصل عليه يتراوح بين 700 إلى 900 ميغاواط، فيما احتياجها الحقيقي يتعدى الـ2500ميغاواط". He explained that "Basra of energy that produces its transformation into a national network of more than 1,500 MW, but what you get between 700 to 900 megawatts, while its need real exceed 2,500 MW."
وانتقد البزوني قلة تجهيز الطاقة إلى البصرة التي يقول ان فيها "أحمالاً صناعية ومشاريع نفطية عملاقة يجب أن تخرج من حسابات التجهيز المعطاة للبصرة". And criticized Albzona the lack of processing power to Basra, which says that "industrial loads and giant oil projects must graduated from the accounts given to the processing of Basra."
وجددت وزارة الكهرباء في الثالث من حزيران الماضي تعهدها بتحسين إمدادات الطاقة في البلاد خلال المدة المقبلة لاسيما خلال شهر رمضان، وفي حين بينت أن إنتاجها سيرتفع قريباً إلى 11 ألف ميغاواط، أكدت أنها ستقضي على أزمة الكهرباء بنهاية العام 2013 الحالي. And renewed the Ministry of Electricity in the last third of June its commitment to improving the country's energy supply during the next term, especially during the month of Ramadan, while showed that production will rise soon to 11 thousand megawatts, confirmed that it will spend on the electricity crisis by the end of this year 2013.
وكان نائب رئيس الوزراء لشؤون الطاقة حسين الشهرستاني، اكد أيضاً انتهاء أزمة الطاقة الكهربائية نهاية العام 2013 الحالي، فيما أشار إلى أن وزارة الكهرباء ستدخل محطات جديدة للخدمة خلال المدة المقبلة. The Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussain al-Shahristani, also confirmed the end of electrical energy crisis the end of the current year 2013, as pointed out that the Ministry of Electricity will enter the new service stations during the next term.
إلى ذلك اكد عضو مجلس محافظة البصرة احمد السليطي ان المحافظة انفقت خلال السنوات الماضية اكثر من ترليوني دينار على مشاريع "نقل وتوزيع الطاقة"، كاشفا عن وجود مشاكل حقيقية مازالت قائمة في نقل الطاقة بين مركز البصرة وشمالها. Furthermore, member of the provincial council in Basra, Ahmed Al-Sulaiti that the province has spent over the past years more than ترليوني dinars on projects "power transmission and distribution," revealing the existence of serious problems still exist in the transfer of power between the center and north of Basra.
وذكر السليطي في حديث مع "المدى" امس أن مناطق شمال البصرة تعاني من عدم وجود خطوط لنقل الطاقة من مركز المحافظة ، مؤكدا ان السبب "في الشركات المتلكئة وغير الكفوءة" وكشف عن ان بعض المشاريع احيلت قبل ٧ سنوات ولم تنجز حتى الان"، محملا الحكومة المحلية السابقة مسؤولية "تهاونها مع بعض الشركات"، واحالة بعض المشاريع لشركات "غير كفؤوة، تبين ان صاحبها مقاول عراقي ليس لديه اي خبرة". وذكر السليطي ان البصرة تنتظر منذ سنتين "مشاريع الحكومة التي يقودها الشهرستاني لتنفيذ محطتين في البصرة لزيادة معدلات الانتاج". The Sulaiti said in an interview with the "long" yesterday that the areas north of Basra suffer from the lack of lines to transmit power from the center of the province, adding that the reason "in the companies lagging and inefficient" and revealed that some of the projects referred 7 years ago has not been completed yet, "blaming The local government earlier responsibility "تهاونها with some companies," and to refer some of the projects for companies "is Kvúh, showing that its owner Iraqi contractor does not have any experience." said Sulaiti that Basra has been waiting for two years, "projects the government led by al-Shahristani, for the implementation of two stations in Basra to increase production rates . "
يشار الى ان محافظ البصرة الجديد ماجد النصراوي أعلن، الاسبوع الماضي عن تشكيل غرفة عمليات كهرباء لتجاوز الأزمة الكهربائية في ظل شهر رمضان، مشيرا إلى تزويد المواطنين بمعدل يتجاوز 12 ساعة يوميا، وأكد مدير نقل الطاقة الكهربائي أن معدل تجهيز البصرة الحالي هو الأعلى. It is said that the new governor of Basra Majed Nasraoui announced, last week the formation of electricity operations room to overcome the electricity crisis in light of the month of Ramadan, referring to provide citizens with an average of more than 12 hours a day, and the director of the electric power transmission to the current rate of processing of Basra is the highest.
Mayahi calls to enroll MPs Pensions Cancelation law within parliament coming session's agenda
Sunday, 21 July 2013 10:27
Baghdad (AIN) -MP Aziz al-Mayahi of the White bloc called the parliament presidency to enroll the law of the MPs pensions cancelation within the agenda of next session scheduled on Monday.
Religious authorities and political blocs had called to cancel the MPs pensions.
Mayahi said "The cancelation of the MPs pensions is the Iraqi people's right, also moral and constitutional duty as the MPs are commissioned figures rather than being state employees, moreover, the high expenses of the former parliament terms exhausted the state budget."
"The MPs reach the parliament to serve the people for certain period, so they should return to their previous jobs after end of their parliamentary terms," he added.
Al-Khozai's dialogues with political blocs will push to hold the national meeting
Amara / NINA / MP, of the State of Law coalition, Mohammed Saadoun al-Sayhood said that bilateral dialogues between the Vice-President of the Republic, Khudair al-Khozai and political blocs to activate the Charter of honor would help to hold the national meeting to resolve all outstanding problems.
He told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA / "signing the Charter of honor called by al- Khozai through bilateral meetings and dialogues with all political blocs becomes a matter of urgency to resolve the problems and political differences as it goes to strengthen the internal front and maintain the unity of the national front, especially the region is facing a very serious challenges led by (Takfiri) targets human regardless of his components or his ethnic groups. "
Independent MP: what is happening in Diyala is politically motivated
BAGHDAD / NINA / The independent MP, Jawad al-Bazzoni considered what is happening in Diyala province of bombings and displacement is politically motivated.
He said in a statement to the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA / "The process of selecting the governor and new provincial council with the political bickering shadowed over the security situation in the province," noting that "the political differences often effect negatively at various levels as terrorist armed groups try to exploit this confusion to do their criminal work. "
He added "The government should work to restore security to the province, adding that terrorism tries to target specific areas for fueling sectarian strife."
It is mentioned that dozens of families left their areas in South of Muqdadiya district of Diyala in anticipation of attacks by armed groups.
Zaid Ibrahim, mayor of Muqdadiyah said: "Dozens of people in villages south of Muqdadiyah left their homes," stressing that "the process of displacing families have its implications, which was designed to ignite sedition and return the situation back to square one.
He called on the central government and security leaders to intervene immediately to end the crisis and control the security situation before it escalates.
As a result, joint military reinforcements from the police and the army arrived to the areas south of Muqdadiyah, to control the deteriorated security situation in few days ago.
Barazani invites Kurdish leaders in neighboring countries to attend a meeting in Erbil
Erbil (NINA) – President of Kurdistan Region, Massoud Barazani, extended an invitation to Kurdish leaders in Turkey, Iran and Syria, to attend a Kurdish National Congress to be held soon in Erbil.
In a statement to the press on Saturday, July 20, spokesman for the Presidency of Kurdistan Region, Omed Sabah, said that Barazani sent an official invitation to all political sides in the four parts of Kurdistan (Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria) to attend a meeting in Erbil to form a Preparatory Committee for the Kurdish National Congress.
He added that the meeting aims to form a Preparatory Committee for the Kurdish National Congress due to be held in Erbil soon.
Sales of dollar by the CBI rise on Saturday auction.
Baghdad/ NINA /--Sales of dollar by the Central Bank of Iraq CBI and purchase of other foreign currencies rose on Saturday to 348 million and 870 thousand dollars, after just hit on Wednesday auction the level of , 283 million and 553 thousand dollars, with a stable exchange rate of 1166 dinars per dollar.
The daily bulletin issued by the Central Bank, said "The demand for dollar was ranging on today's auction around the level of 33 million and 500 thousand dollars which sold in cash.
No Agreement Among Syrian Kurds Over Interim Government
by HEMIN KHOSHNAW
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdish Supreme Committee (KSC) has failed to unite Syria’s quarrelling Kurdish groups and should be replaced with a provisional administration, according to the People’s Council, that was founded as an alternative to the embattled Damascus regime.
“We have submitted the proposal to all political parties in western (Syrian) Kurdistan,” said Abdulsalam Ahmed, co-chair of the People’s Council, adding that reaction to the proposal had been mixed.
“A committee is assigned to prepare an interim constitution. All of these will be discussed with Arabs and Christians,” he said, adding that the mission of the administration would be to make necessary arrangements to elect a legislative body.
“In order for us to have an effective administration, we need to have agreements with Arabs and Christians,” he said, saying it was time to replace the Erbil-backed Kurdish Supreme Committee.
But there is disagreement among the bickering Kurdish groups even over an interim administration.
“No one has approached us about forming a provisional administration,” said Muhammed Ismael, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (Al Party). “We have conditions to join the administration,” he said.
Ismael said that, all he knows about the project was that it is backed only by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and dominates control over Syria’s Kurdish regions, placing it at odds with the other Kurdish groups.
“Without the support of Al Party, this project will never succeed,” Ismael warned.
The KSC was meant to unite the PYD with rival Syrian Kurdish groups inside the umbrella Kurdish National Council (KNC), but a year after its formation political disagreements among the Kurdish parties have exacerbated.
Three members pulled out of the KSC after last month’s clashes in the town of Amude between the PYD’s militia forces and supporters of the KNC.
That incident was seen as a dangerous sign of a probable conflict among Kurdish parties, raising concern among different groups that some sort of governing body is immediately needed. The United States and the larger Arab Syrian opposition have been unable to intercede to resolve intra-Kurdish differences.
Syria’s Kurds have so far largely stayed out of the fighting between rebel forces and the Damascus regime, insisting they will not join the armed opposition unless Kurds are given assurances of self-rule over their territories after the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“An administration will increase the credibility of western Kurdistan internationally, it will be a problem solver and be able to provide services to citizens,” said Shelal Gedo, Kurdish Left Party representative in Sulaimani.
But Abdulbaqi Yousif, representative of the Kurdistan Union Party, questioned the timing of such a project, his comments illustrating the lack of trust among the Kurdish parties.
“The emergence of such ideas goes back to the current situation of Kurds in Syria,” he said, alleging that various groups were trying to distract attention from the Amude incident by raising the issue of an interim government.
“The Al Party tries to take advantage of the unfortunate incidents at Amude, which were committed by the PYD, and by launching discussion over such an idea PYD tries to get over the Amude incidents,” he said.
He charged that the PYD was serving PKK interests, and that AI was working on behalf of neighboring Iraq’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
“Establishing an administration requires coordination and cooperation,” he said, lamenting that both were in short supply among Syria’s Kurdish groups.
Agenda of the meeting (9) Monday (22) July 2013
Sunday, 21 July 2013
First: read verses from the Koran.
Second: The vote on the draft law amending the Law seizure of contraband and forbidden traded in local markets (18) for the year 2008. (Finance Committee, Legal Committee). (2 items).
Third: The vote on the draft law regulating the rent of agricultural land and ownership of the right to dispose of agricultural graduates and veterinarians. (Committee on Agriculture, the Legal Committee). (12 items).
Fourth: The vote on the bill the official language. (Legal Committee, the Committee on Culture and Information, the Finance Committee, the Education Committee, Commission on Higher Education). (15 items).
Fifth: The vote on the bill the second amendment to the customs tariff law No. (22) for the year 2010. (Finance Committee, the Committee for Economy and Investment). (2 items).
Sixth: The vote on the nomination of the members of the Appeals Chamber judges responsible for hearing appeals on the decisions of the accountability and justice. (Legal Committee).
Seventh: The vote on Mr. Falah Hassan Chanchal position of Chairman of the board of accountability and justice.
Eighth: The vote on the budget of the House of Representatives and the Judicial Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Ninth: The first reading of the proposed law to amend the House of Representatives election law No. (16) for the year 2005. (Legal Committee). (45 items).
Tenth: The first reading of the proposed law to reverse the decisions of the Revolutionary Command Council (defunct) numbered (1021) for the year 1983, (197) for the year 1994, (145) for the year 2001. (Legal Committee). (2 items).
Eleventh: The second reading of the bill the first amendment to the law of the Agricultural Credit Fund for peasants and small farmers (28) for the year 2009. (Committee on Agriculture, Finance Committee). (Article 6).
Twelfth: The second reading of the draft law amending the Penal Code No. (111) for the year 1969. (Legal Committee). (2 items).
XIII: The second reading of the draft law on ratification of the Convention on economic cooperation and trade development between the Government of the Republic of Iraq and the Government of the Czech Republic. (Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on the economy and investment). (2 items).
Fourteenth: second reading of the reform bill reviews and depositors. (Committee on Labour and Social Affairs, the Legal Committee, the Commission on Security and Defence). (54 items).
XV: continuation of the discussion of the proposed Law on the Council of the Union. (Committee of the Regions and the provinces, the Legal Committee). (18 items).
BAGHDAD (AFP) – Interest by Citibank and Standard Chartered to expand into Iraq highlights the vast potential of the country's banking sector, but the experience of a global rival points to the many pitfalls they must navigate.
With tens of millions of potential customers, few of whom have bank accounts, the country could provide a windfall for firms that manage to grab a foothold.
Iraqis are on the hunt for a full range of services, from current accounts to insurance and mortgages, little of which is currently on offer.
But outdated regulations, a preponderance of state-owned banks, poor infrastructure, and a litany of other obstacles mean succeeding in Iraq's banking sector is no mean feat.
"This is potentially a very, very rich market to do banking in," said one Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The industry has come into the spotlight in recent weeks thanks to moves by banking giants Citibank and Standard Chartered to establish their presence in the country.
"We see Iraq as the next big thing," Mayank Malik, Citi's head for Jordan and Iraq, told AFP. "We see this as a giant which is waking up."
"We see ourselves as the front-runners. We want the first-mover advantage."
Citi will initially look to serve existing clients -- several international energy companies working in oil-rich south Iraq are customers.
But in the longer-term the multinational is looking to move into commercial and retail banking, though it has not publicly laid out a timeline.
It has high hopes for the country -- Citi economists project that Iraq will have 50 million people and a $2 trillion economy in 2050.
The latter figure represents a 15-fold increase on current output, and is roughly equivalent to the size of India's economy today.
And, as the sector develops, virtually the entire range of banking services are required -- at present, Iraqis have limited access to loans, insurance, credit cards, mortgages and a swathe of other financial products.
But while Malik voices optimism over the potential of Iraq's banking sector, major obstacles persist.
As Citi was opening an office in Iraq last month, HSBC announced shortly thereafter it would pull out of Dar Es Salaam, a local bank in which it holds a 70 percent stake.
Though HSBC has couched the sale as part of a global strategy, its then Middle East chief said in 2005 that Iraq was a "long-term prospect".
"At this stage, we will not be able to make further comments on the transaction structure and timing," an HSBC spokesman said.
Diplomats and analysts have pointed to a number of key difficulties, including a lack of modern regulations to give Iraqis confidence in finance.
The fact also remains that the two state-owned banks, Al-Rashid Bank and Al-Rafidain Bank, dwarf the competition and have little incentive to innovate.
The tiny minority of Iraqis who do have bank accounts have limited access to ATM machines, online banking, or even an ability to access their account from different branches of the same bank.
And while some credit cards are issued, virtually no shops accept them.
"The conditions are not here for you to engage in retail banking," the Western diplomat said.
Local businesses meanwhile often complain that banks are unwilling to lend or demand unreasonably high levels of collateral.
According to a World Bank estimate, Iraqi bank credit amounted to less than a tenth of gross domestic product in 2010. By comparison, the same figure was around 55 percent for the rest of the Middle East.
"They should avoid stockpiling the cash inside government banks, but rather use the cash to lend, to be part of the development of the private sector," said Thamir Ghadhban, the head of the Prime Minister's Advisory Commission, a group of experts.
Ghadhban said better technology was required, as well as reductions in processing times, paperwork and staffing levels.
But, crucially, he said, a change in attitude towards customers was also needed.
"They (bank staff) are not doing them a service ... it is the other way around."
"They should really pull in customers, and not push them out."