The Prime Minister of Iraq, Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, chaired the 28th Regular Session of the Council of Ministers yesterday, July 11, 2023. During the session, the Council of Ministers discussed the country’s general situation, the most prominent issues, the progress in the government program, and the items on the agenda and issued several decisions.
During the session, the Prime Minister addressed the critical issue of the power supply shortage crisis. To tackle this crisis, the Council of Ministers approved measures to strengthen the national gas supply network and ensure an adequate fuel supply for power plants.
The Council of Ministers approved the following measures:
- Reducing the price of Diesel supplied to private power generators to 250 dinars per litre. The Ministry of Finance will deduct the specified amounts from the share owed by the General Company for the Distribution of Petroleum Products from the public treasury. This decision will be implemented from the date of issuance until August 31, 2023.
- Authorizing the Ministry of Oil to procure gas from the Khor Mor Gas Field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
In the same context, the Council of Ministers approved the following:
- The Ministry of Oil will sell crude oil to the Islamic Republic of Iran, equivalent to the cash value of the gas supply and power supply purchase deposited in the accounts of Iranian companies in Iraqi banks.
- The Ministry of Oil will exchange crude, oil, and black oil for imported gas from the Islamic Republic of Iran. This exchange will follow the allocations stated in the Federal Budget Law for the fiscal years 2023, 2024, and 2025.
- The Ministries of Oil and Finance will coordinate with the Federal Board of Supreme Audit to ensure proper settlements.
- The Oil Marketing Company has been authorized to establish the necessary marketing and contractual procedures to implement the above decisions.
It will also sign contracts with companies nominated by the Iranian side, exempt from the controls and instructions approved by the National Oil Marketing Company (SOMO).
Following the decision of the Ministerial Council for National Security, which emphasized adherence to diplomatic norms, the Prime Minister instructed the formation of a joint committee comprising the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior, the National Operations Centre, and the Joint Operations Command.
The committee’s task is to establish a precise and transparent mechanism governing the movement and activities of all ambassadors accredited in Iraq.
Highlighting the government’s commitment to advancing construction and infrastructure projects and promoting private sector participation and investment, the Council of Ministers has approved the establishment of the Iraq Fund for Development.
Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani noted that this decision aligns with the provisions of the constitution and aims to facilitate the implementation of Article 42 of the Federal Budget Law for the years 2023, 2024, and 2025. The Iraq Fund for Development will support and expedite development initiatives.
As part of the government’s commitment to supporting the national arms industry, the Council of Ministers voted against a bill that would separate the General Company for Copper and Mechanical Industries from the Défense Industries Commission.
Instead, they decided to attach it to the Ministry of Industry and Minerals. Additionally, a committee of representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, and the Défense Industries Commission will be formed to identify factories with civil and military capabilities.
In the energy sector, the Council of Ministers and PM Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani has given its approval for the implementation of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Oil in the Republic of Iraq and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan signed on May 4, 2023.
The Council of Ministers has approved the recommendation (23048) from the Ministerial Council for Energy in 2023. According to the recommendation, the Ministry of Oil, specifically the Dhi Qar Oil Company, will invite the Italian company PEG to undertake a project involving installing and operating a wet oil treatment unit at the Nasiriyah station, with a capacity of 50,000 barrels.
This will be done through direct contracting, exempt from the instructions for implementing government contracts (2 of 2014). The Ministry of Oil will ensure the validity of all necessary legal procedures related to this project.
Also, in the energy sector, the Council of Ministers approved the recommendation (23008) from the Energy Ministerial Council in 2023. This recommendation pertains to the referral approval by the Central Committee for Review and Approval in the Ministry of Oil.
The referral involves constructing a third marine export pipeline with an operational capacity of 2 million barrels daily. The project will be implemented with a Japanese loan and will be under the responsibility of the Basra Oil Company.
The Dutch company, Boskalis, has been entrusted with the project for an amount of $416,900,000. The implementation period is set at 400 days.
The Ministry of Oil is reviewing priorities in coordination with relevant companies and authorities, including project costs, documentation, and reimbursements. The Council of Ministers discussed other issues on the agenda and issued the following decisions:
The Ministry of Finance has approved an allocation of 2 billion dinars to the Iraqi Artists Syndicate for the expenses of the Baghdad Arab Film Festival, said PM Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani.
Cabinet Resolution (216 of 2022) has been amended to allocate 10 billion dinars to the Ministry of Interior for the construction of border posts on the Iraqi-Iranian border within the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. This initiative aims to prevent infiltration and smuggling.
The completion of posts on the Iraqi-Turkish border is pending approval of the federal budget based on the past allocation.
The following approvals have been granted:
1. Amendment of Cabinet Resolution (216 of 2014) regarding the resolution of Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University. The amendment includes:
– Approval for the lease of plots numbered (3/478, 3/479) in Al-Waziriya District, owned by the Ministry of Communications, to Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University.
This exception is made to bypass the public bidding procedures in accordance with the provisions of the State Assets Rent and Sale Law (21 of 2013, as amended) and State Council Resolution No. 105 of 2017.
2. The Ministry of Finance will sell the buildings it owns on the plots or administratively expropriate them in favour of the General Company for Communications and Informatics, affiliated with the Ministry of Communications. This will be done in accordance with the provisions of the Expropriation Law No. (12) of 1981, as amended.
Fourth / A bill ratifying the Republic of Iraq on the Arab Protocol to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking, Especially Women and Children, has been approved.
The protocol is annexed and complementary to the Arab Convention on Combating Organized Crime across national borders. The bill will be referred to the Council of Representatives, following the provisions of the constitution.