The formation of the Iraqi government is still an ongoing task. Three ministry posts still remain.
The Al-Iraqiyah List leader Iyad Allawi will hold a meeting, which is the first of its kind in a little over a month with Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. This meeting will be held with the ever increasing demonstrations of the Iraqi people who remain concerned with reinforcing public freedom in Iraq as well as administrative and financial corruption. Many of the local observers are already expecting the meeting between Allawi and Maliki to fail. If this should occur expect a possible collapse of the government and the withdrawal of some of the ministers.
This coming March, the Iraqi government is planning to impose an increase in the custom tariffs. This plan will cause a rise in the prices of imported commodities and a decrease in the purchasing power of people. The General Director of Foreign economic relations at the Ministry of Trade, said the law will be applicable starting 6 March, noting that the new custom tariffs might reach 80% on some goods, such as fruits and vegetables, home appliances etc. The new plan is geared at protecting the economy and the Iraqi Merchants have said that the prices will increase but in an acceptable way.
On the 13th February the Council of Representatives will resume its 31st session. This announcement was followed by a very heated debate in regards to the budget. The budget continues to remain unsettled due to the Finance Minister and other experts failing to make an appearance. Expect this debate to be an ongoing one. In addition, the financial committees as well as many other members of Parliament have yet to file their report on the latest amendments to the Budget Draft law.
In regards to the Iraqi currency:
Expect the Central Bank of Iraq to be distributing the new Iraq dinar currency just after they complete their internal report. No one seems to know a completion date for the internal report so expect it to be ongoing and dragging on for a long period of time. From what I am getting on my end (here in Baghdad), Iraq will be following suit right along with the way the country, Turkey, handled their currency. Both the new and the old currency will be simultaneously in circulation. Don’t misunderstand this upcoming merge of currencies to be any indication or form of RV or RI as some would like to make you think (and WILL try to make you think). And, keep in mind that the internal report as I mentioned above, could be a lengthily process as is everything in Iraq.
In regards to those emails asking me why my postings have slowed down, I can only say that I report news as it comes in and many times my delay in posting is due to my double checking my sources and confirming information before it is made public. I will only post information that I know to be factual and accurate.
As always, thanks for reading and being a loyal follower.
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