By Idris Okuducu
ERBIL, Iraq (AA) - Baghdad has yet to pay the overdue salaries of public servants in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region, Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the Erbil-based Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), said Wednesday.
Barzani refuted earlier assertions by Iraqi officials that back salaries owed to health and education ministry employees in the Kurdish region had been disbursed, insisting the monies had yet to arrive in Erbil.
Asked about the region’s planned 2018 parliamentary polls, Barzani said: “There are no obstacles as far as I know, but some technical issues still must be resolved.”
Masoud Haidar, a Kurdish member of Iraq’s parliament and member of the assembly’s finance committee, said the central government had disbursed $200 million last week for the payment of overdue public-sector salaries in the Kurdish region.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s administration, however, has cast doubt on this figure, saying the salary disbursements would be based on the government’s latest census of civil servants.
According to KRG figures, roughly 1.4 million civil servants currently work in the KRG.