Posted on 2022-06-10 by sotaliraq
Economic crises faced by the Iraqi government
Among the other pressing issues that the next government will face is the need to diversify the economy and move in a gradual and orderly manner away from dependence on oil rents.
It will also need to create real job opportunities outside the traditional government sector.
There are approximately 4 million permanent employees in government institutions, while another 4 million receive government benefits from the social welfare network, and 4 million are retired or recipients of pension grants. In a country of about 40 million people,
more than 30% of people depend directly on government salaries and subsidies, which account for nearly 60% of Iraq's total budget.
The database of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs includes 1.6 million job seekers, while millions of others are not registered with the ministry.
Each year during this decade, an estimated 800,000 young people enter the labor market.
Foreign and local investors will monitor the practical steps that the government will take to provide suitable environments for work in Iraq.
Despite the keenness of successive governments to invite investors and foreign companies to work in Iraq, the great obstacles imposed by Iraqi government departments contradict the encouraging government rhetoric.
Even if the new government had good intentions to reform the Iraqi economy, unless it also reformed the administrative apparatus, it is unlikely to achieve real results.
The first decision of the Council of Ministers at the beginning of this year was the approval of a “strategy for administrative reform in government departments”.
It is a standard paper similar to many traditional government papers in its formulation,
but it was distinguished by its capacity in diagnosing many problems suffered by the administrative system in Iraq.
It also set time limits for implementation that ranged from several months to periods of up to 5 years.
It included measures for legislative reform, the issuance of a civil service law, the shift towards administrative decentralization, and the restructuring of ministries and administrative units (governorates, districts, and sub-districts).
The paper suggested steps for institutional development,
- raising the efficiency and effectiveness of the state's administrative apparatus,
simplifying government services procedures,
standardizing databases, resource management systems and public spending, and
applying good governance standards.
It may be the fiercest battle for the next Iraqi government when it undertakes an administrative reform of its flabby structures.
Which has become riddled with corruption, according to governmental and international reports.
The irony is that the tools that will be entrusted with the reform process will also be accused of similar practices, and their path to enhancing citizen confidence will be full of challenges.
Diaa Saad Abdullah