Iraqi Kurdistan Govt frees investment companies to cancel their contracts

Posted on November 30, 2015 by Editorial Staff in Economy, Finance & Banking
Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government KRGHEWLÊR-Erbil, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced Sunday that investment companies are free to cancel their contracts with the government due to the economic crisis in the Kurdish region. The KRG’s Council of Ministers made the decision allowing companies to cancel contracts and projects relating to budget investment, provincial developments, petrodollars or any other projects connected to the budget. The decision was made “to assist companies and contractors which cannot continue or complete their projects that the government gave them due to the economic crisis in the Kurdistan Region,” the council said. According to the decision, companies can end their government contracts after approval by ministers or the heads of government institutions. The KRG’s economic issues began early in 2014 when then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stopped budget payments to Erbil over its attempts to sell its oil independent from Baghdad. The subsequent war against militants in northern Iraq and an influx of over 1.8 million displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees added to the region’s economic troubles. The council added that it would give authority to the ministries, provinces and institutions to extend project timelines for those projects that cannot be completed due to the economic crisis. The KRG is still three months behind on payments and blames the ongoing financial crisis due to global oil prices, a dispute with Baghdad over its share of the federal budget as well as the number of refugees and displaced Iraqis in the region. Kurdish officials say they simply do not have enough money to pay salaries including for Peshmerga on the frontlines in the war against the Islamic State.