Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The Iraqi government said Sunday it had succeeded to reduce to 85% the country’s reliance on petroleum revenues which are the biggest portion of revenues calculated in the state budget.
That is a drop from an estimated 95% of the general budget under former prime minister and incumbent Vice President Nuri al-Maliki, said Cabinet spokesperson Saad al-Hadithi.
According to the statement, the government has managed to reduce reliance on oil revenues and diminish their percentage in the general budget to 85% in return for the diversification of state resources and the activation of other economic sectors.
“Due to Iraq’s financial crisis, which is the result of unprecedentedly falling world oil prices, the government had to follow economic policies dictated by the crisis in order to meet its financial obligations to Iraqi forces, war on terror and seven million citizens receiving IQD4 trillion monthly in salaries from the state……as well as other important sectors such as education, health, electricity, basic services and response to refugee issues,” Hadithi stated.
“The government has resorted to austerity, rationing government and public expenditure to between 50-60%,” he added.
Iraq’s war against Islamic State militants since 2014 and falling world prices have added to the pains of the economy of OPEC’s second largest producer.
Iraq’s oil marketing company said early July that the country exported 592.378 million barrels of petroleum during the first half of 2017.
In a statement, SOMO said that represented a monthly exportation rate of 98.729 million barrels, and a daily rate of 3.290 million barrels.
The exports yielded revenues worth USD26.771 million during that period, recording a monthly return of USD4.592 million a month., said the company.