Iraqi Minister of Finance: Oil revenues must promote peace to Iraq
The Iraqi Finance Minister Baqir Jabr Solag stated in Baghdad Monday that the billions earned by Iraq from its oil revenues must promote peace in Iraq, calling on foreign investors to return to his country.
The Iraqi minister said in an interview with France Presse Agency: "In my view, that money is the key to peace if not the main key" noting that Iraq's oil revenues quadrupled since the overthrowing of the former regime in 2003.
According to data of Solag, Iraq will have more than 75 billion dollars of public expenditure in the current year. He added: "We never got such quantity of money since 2003."
He continued, the Iraqi minister who is a member of the Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council "when people without resources and unemployed, they can be attracted by Al-Qaeda and the Baathists veterans to give them money for work on their behalf."
He added that "create jobs and promote the economy will carry peace to Iraq." There are no official statistics on unemployment in Iraq, which is currently 26 million people, but some estimates indicate that about half people who are able to work in this country suffering from unemployment.
Elsewhere the minister announced that in addition to the general budget and the law of additional funding the Government decided to establish a fund dedicated to finance a strategic priority projects.
The 2008 general budget is equivalent to 348 billion dollars has been collected this amount during the first six months of the year. In early July was decided further $ 21 billion dollars to finance projects in the sectors of oil, electricity, security, public works and housing.
Solag said, "We want also to establish a special fund to finance strategic projects. We have formed on Sunday (July 13) ministerial committee will allocate between five to ten billion dollars for these projects."
He added: "I invite the French, Europeans and Americans to participate in these projects."
The Iraqi minister pointed out that these funds earmarked for building the ranks of oil and the construction of railways, highways and the establishment of between 10 to 15 sophisticated hospitals, ports and purchase of aircraft.
93% from the revenue comes from Iraqi oil and it has been holding budget calculations based on the reference price per barrel of oil is $ 57 while the price of a barrel reached this week, more than $ 140.
The minister added: "We have a lot of money outside the budget, but it is a confidential figure."
He continued, "The year 2009 should amount to budget figures which we are working today between 70 to 80 billion dollars."
Solag pointed out that Iraq will have a strategic planning tool for the next three years. He added: "We have a strategic plan with a vision for the future of Iraq," saying that "the budget is not numbers only; it is the country's future as well."
In urgent action ,Iraqi government had to distribute part of the billions of surplus oil revenue to the country's eighteen provinces earmarked each between 100 to 150 million dollars to finance urgent projects.
The minister explained that the funds earmarked to meet the needs of the population impact of military operations carried out in the south of the country and in the capital and north.
The Iraqi Finance Minister said, "These funds should help citizens and show them that there are other things in addition to security."
He also emphasized that the government has moved against corruption and public markets will become fully transparent.
He added: "But this is not easy. Is not happening between overnight."
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