Iraq needs 27 years to repay its debts, according to Mazen Al-Faili, a member of the Economic and Investment Committee in the Iraqi Parliament.
“There are accumulated internal and external debts, which expire in 2048, according to specialists,” Al-Faili said.
“The Parliamentary Economic Committee objected to borrowing without there being alternatives to oil or reducing expenditures.”
He added that “it is wrong for the government to resort to debt,” noting that “there are no practical steps on the ground to maximize Iraq’s imports in the sectors of industry, agriculture and tourism.”
This comes at a time when the Parliamentary Finance Committee confirmed, Iraq’s need for internal and external loans within the 2021 budget.
A member of the committee, Muhammad al-Shabaki, said that “the estimation of internal and external loans in the 2021 budget was carried out after studies were conducted by the Ministries of Planning and Finance.”
Government officials had revealed earlier, that the internal and external debts on Iraq amount to about $73 billion, payable, as well as $40 billion outstanding for eight countries.
Stifling financial crisis
Iraq is going through a stifling financial crisis caused by the drop in global oil prices, since the beginning of the global outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, and the spread of corruption has caused the country to lose hundreds of billions of dollars since the U.S. occupation in 2003.
The head of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Haitham al-Jubouri, had revealed earlier that the ceiling of external borrowing in the budget for the current year 2021 exceeds two billion dollars.
He also indicated that internal borrowing from the central bank is estimated at about 5 trillion dinars ($3.5 billion).
The successive Iraqi governments are exposed to severe criticism about the continuation of the borrowing policy in the oil-rich country.
An official at the Integrity Commission said that “The accumulation of debts of this serious size is borne by all the governments that came to the country after 2003”.
The same official emphasized, “most of these governments formed a barrier to protect the corrupt from legal accountability and worked with them to achieve financial gains”.
“Their public policies also caused wasting state funds, through decades-long corruption in all the joints of the state,” He added.