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    Cabinet agrees measures to reform state institutions, rationalise public spending


    The Cabinet held its regular meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

    At the start of the meeting, the Prime Minister told the Cabinet that this Iraqi government came to office to address the challenges facing the country, combat poverty, reduce unemployment among young people, and deliver a fair distribution of wealth.

    He said ministers and government officials must not show favouritism or tolerate political interference, and that everyone must focus on implementing the government programme and on building Iraq’s state institutions.

    Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi paid tribute to Iraq’s armed and security forces, saying that they had endured and sacrificed much, and that the authority of the military and security institutions must be restored.

    The Prime Minister reaffirmed his commitment to protecting the right to protest, adding that he will not tolerate any act of aggression or violence against protestors, and that the government will work to fulfill their legitimate aspirations.

    The Prime Minister concluded his remakes by saying that “we will not compromise on the dignity of our citizens, or the interests of our country.

    Following discussions, the Cabinet decided the following:

    •  Establish the Emergency Cell for Financial Reform under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, and with the membership of the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Planning, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, and other officials as nominated by the Prime Minister. The Cell’s mandate is to ensure financial liquidity,  agree measures to rationalise public spending, maximise resources, and propose mechanisms for reconstruction and investment projects from outside government funding streams
    • Direct government entities to submit plans for the rationalization of their administrative structures
    • Press ahead with the e-government programme and with the automation of procedures, especially in the areas of customs and tax collection
    • Conduct a review of all draft laws related to combating corruption, strengthen the role of the Integrity Commission and the Federal Board of Supreme Audit
    • Mandate the Ministry of Planning to conduct a review of the process of awarding government contracts and the basis for agreeing and selecting investment projects
    • Provide the necessary staff to enable the Federal Service Council to carry out its duties
    • Expedite the draft legislation of the general Federal Budget Law
    • Expediate the completion of the draft oil and gas law
    • Mandate the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to submit proposals within a month to increase the number of people entitled to social security benefits
    • Authorise the Reconstruction Fund for Areas Affected by Terrorist Operations to establish mobile hospitals to quarantine and treat patients with Covid-19 in regions to be agreed with the Ministry of Health, and to fund this project through the grant from the German Development Bank

    The Cabinet also discussed proposals for a freedom of information law and other policies.

    Click here for details of the Iraqi government programme:  https://bit.ly/2SJSmMj

     

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