Secrets of “inflation” of the 2023 budget numbers.. Will investment spending increase by 170%?
Yes Iraq: Baghdad
Huge numbers are being talked about regarding the 2023 budget, which is witnessing widespread anticipation in the political, popular and commercial circles, as the numbers being talked about about the size of the budget still touch the 200 trillion Iraqi dinars, a number that can be described as the “largest” in the history of public budgets in Iraq.
The government economic advisor, Mazhar Muhammad Salih, says,
“Last year, 145 trillion dollars were spent through applying the principle of 1/12 in the 2021 budget that preceded it, and what was included in the Emergency Support for Food Security and Development Law, which is the minimum that can be spent for the year 2023.” And he adds,
“But the ceiling of the budget for the current year, we expect it to range between 180-200 trillion dinars, according to our expectations, thanks to what was included in the ministerial program of great support for the social curriculum in it, such as support for the ration card and the social welfare file, in addition to strategic and service projects and the continuation of service work in many regions.”".
Saleh talks about the 2021 budget, amounting to 129 trillion dinars, “which has not been fully spent,” in addition to 25 trillion dinars for the food security law, which has not been fully spent yet, according to what data from ministries and government institutions indicate.
Hence, Saleh says that these 145 trillion dinars that were spent last year will be spent during the current year as well, with the addition of new sections for spending that exceed these 145 trillion, as these ruling spending sections represent the appointments and grades that have been installed, amounting to about one million new employees. In addition to the new categories that have been added to social care.
Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani said in previous statements that the salaries section in the current budget rose from 41 to 62 trillion dinars, meaning that operating expenses alone rose more than 20 trillion dinars.
And while only one million employees have been appointed, the rate of what they will raise from salaries will not exceed 10 trillion dinars during a full year, and thus the 20 trillion that Al-Sudani talked about, including the salaries of the newly added retirees, as well as the salaries of social welfare.
However, the total new expenditures from salaries will raise the actual spending to 170 trillion dinars at best, which raises questions about whether more than 30 trillion dinars will be allocated to investment projects, after it reached last year 2022, less than 9 trillion dinars, and in 2021 amounted to only 13 trillion dinars.
Accordingly, the rate of spending on investment during the past two years amounted to 11 trillion dinars, and if 30 trillion dinars were allocated and spent on investment in this budget, this means that investment spending will reach more than the rate of the past two years by 170%.
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