Iraq is exposed today to the most political and economic pressures as a result of internal and external factors, so we can not talk about the growth or development of the Iraqi economy since 2003, and the subsequent chaos at all levels, not to mention the continuation of this approach to the present day and deliberately by the successive governments of the country .
Iraq, a country that lives at the mercy of the price of a barrel of oil that it suffers under crude prices, which sapped its shoulders, and disrupted the wheel of growth of other economic sectors, which account for only 5% of total economic activity, so the ease of a breach of the Iraqi economy begins by hitting the sector oil .Accompanied by a torrent massive corruption in all state institutions that hit all of its resources and wealth, as if Iraq has become address of the economic and political failure .
A few days ago ,the financial adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Mudhar Mohammad Salih announced that the Ministry of Finance has ended preparation of 2017 budget worth over 100 trillion Iraqi dinars($82 billion) , depending on the calculation of the price to $ 35 per barrel;.
Saleh added that the budget deficit in 2017 to reach about $ 18 billion, and the budget was drawn according to what has been agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund.
Of course these preliminary data of the budget is an extension of the basket of the deficit that burdened the Iraqi state, and may see a future rise in the deficit in the event of survival of conditions on what it is, which is evidence that the Iraqi economy is shackled with lots of restrictions imposed by it but do successive governments have sought to solve the crisis that hinder the Iraqi economy road ? Is it true that there are real efforts to create an economic climate?
Away from the accusations, successive governments on Iraq formed the biggest obstacle in the way of reform, these governments have alternated on the destruction of state institutions and exploited it for the personal benefit , and to specific bodies to take hold of wealth of Iraq and the looting of its wealth unchecked, and Iraq now is one of the most important enhanced sources for the Iranian economy on the account of its economy . .
Successive Iraqi governments have become accustomed repeatedly to play on the disc to fight corruption, but the fact that it was the biggest incubator for corruption and sectarian quotas, which produced interest groups working for its own account and for the account of external parties that do not want for Iraq and its people any good
The budget deficit of 2016 has reached 29 trillion dinars , equivalent of $ 25 billion, representing 25% of the total budget ,the deficit was larger than the 2015 that its deficit has reached around 22 trillion dinars .
Baghdad also plans to withdraw from its foreign exchange reserves, over the next few years, to help support this funding. It is expected that these reserves will fall to $ 31.5 billion by 2020 from $ 59 billion in last October.
Of the biggest obstacles faced by the Iraqi financial resources is the gap between revenues and expenditures , and the lack of planning for the expansion of economic and productive base, and the adoption of oil as the main source of imports.
And far from the budget , reports indicated that the religious and official holidays are costing the Iraqi state more than $ 150 billion annually, according to what was confirmed by economists, noting that Iraq is the first in a number of holidays of worldwide by 150-day holiday during the year, and this is another example of the absence of the Government’s strategy to revive the economy and reduce waste in state institutions, which are continuously exposed to the drain due to lack of planning.
Iraq’s economy is facing many obstacles, but barely affects every corner of the state, Add to this that the policy is being followed now is hardly much different from its predecessors with regard to the economic file, and the Iraqi citizen did not touch any change that the unemployment and poverty reached large proportions, despite official figures that lack of precision, and the Iraqi citizen has become suffering tragically under difficult economic conditions.
Iraq today faces a very difficult economic conditions, and long-downs and frequent fluctuation of oil prices have increased the fatigue of its budget, not to mention the absence of proper economic planning, Iraq today needs to diversify its economic base, which is now experiencing marginalization and erosion because of the dominance of the oil sector on all aspects of life and financial resources of the State , the last budgets of the Iraqi state are made without referring to the rates of its growing deficit dramatically and frighteningly , noting that, even the government’s attempts to contain the deficit increased the complexity of the problem and its aggravation, by resorting to external borrowing from the international Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which raises questions for the Iraqi government’s ability to meet the terms of harsh reform of the Monetary fund , and whether Iraq is better off today than under the previous governments ? Question may vary to answer, but the reality remains unequivocal answer to these questions.
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies