Prime Minister, Mr. Mohammed S. Al-Sudani, chaired today, Tuesday, the fifth regular session of the Council of Ministers. During the session, they discussed the latest developments in the country and several major topics and issued several directives.
With regard to regulating the workforce environment in Iraq, the Prime Minister directed the formation of a governmental committee to review the issue of foreign workers in Iraq and to regulate it according to a legal framework.
The Council of Ministers session discussed several topics on the agenda and issued several decisions and recommendations.
In line with the government's policy to grant contracted workers permanent contracts following the approved legal mechanisms, and in response to the demands by Iraqi young men that the Ministry of Electricity had contracted, the Council of Ministers agreed on the following:
1- Approval of the confirmation of contract workers of the Ministry of Electricity who have a contractual service of two years or more, and the Ministry of Finance to create grades and job titles and transfers from the planning budget of each company affiliated with the Ministry of Electricity, including contracts for Basra Governorate, and not to request the addition of any new financial allocations from the Ministry Finance. The Ministry of Electricity must suspend new contracting or daily contract hiring in the future. The lists of names are to be checked by the Federal Board of Supreme Audit. Other government agencies and ministries shall provide the Ministry of Finance with the requirements stated in the letter of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers No. (22081 on June 14, 2022), and the Ministry of Finance shall take the required steps, respectively, from the Council of Ministers.
The Council of Ministers discussed an important topic related to the abolition of the privileges of officials and the implementation of the law issued in this regard. This is part of a package of reforms that the government is implementing in accordance with what is included in its ministerial program. The Council approved the following:
- Approving the issuance of instructions to facilitate the implementation of Law No. 28 of 2019 on canceling financial privileges for state officials, based on the provisions of Article (80/item III) and Article (10) of the Law on canceling financial privileges for state officials, taking into consideration The opinion of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers confirmed by the legal department's memorandum signed on November 17, 2022.
The Council of Ministers discussed the issue of the tax on mobile phone recharge cards and mobile internet service, which caused the high cost of communication in Iraq. With the aim of alleviating the burden of citizens, the Council of Ministers decided to stop deducting the sums collected from the mobile phone service and the internet recharge service amounting to (20%) starting from December 1, 2022. The Communications and Media Commission will implement this decision and take proper measures to recover the amounts collected and send them to the state treasury as soon as possible.
The Council of Ministers discussed the issue of government officials' delegations and the need to amend travel mechanisms to follow the correct legal standards to achieve the desired delegation goals and achieve the public interest in addition to controlling spending. The Council approved the following:
1- It is not permissible to make transfers from any account to the travel and delegation account.
2- Per diem is not paid for the delegation members when the sponsoring party is responsible for the accommodation and travel expenses due to the lack of financial allocations.
3- For travel days, one day for departure, and one day for return, except for delegations to North and South American countries, Australia, Canada, and East Asia. Travel days are up to two days for travel and return.
4- The delegate shall be paid accommodation expenses not exceeding (150%) for the night for their class in the countries of the two special groups and the euro and not exceeding (100%) for the single night allowances prescribed for their class in the countries of the first, second and third groups, according to the classification of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the countries.
5- Only ministers and those of equal level have the right to use first-class seats on the plane. The deputy ministers, exceptional grades, governors, general managers, and those of their level have the right to use the business class seats for one flight on the outbound flight and one flight on the return flight if the flight requires more than one stop.
6- Travel shall be exclusively on Iraqi Airways if there are direct flights at Iraqi Airways to the destination country on the day of travel.
7- Deputy ministers, those with exceptional grades, governors, general managers, and those of their level may not rent cars and rely only on the services provided by the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in the country where they are delegated.
8- Non-disbursement of transportation allowances from and to the airport to deputy ministers, exceptional grades, governors, general managers, and those of their level.
9- Not granting approval to exceptional grades, governors, general managers, and those of their level to participate in workshops and training courses as a trainee, with the possibility of their participation as lecturers with up to two participations per year.
10- The minister, heads of agencies not affiliated with a ministry, and governors shall submit to the Prime Minister a detailed report on each delegation that includes (the duration of delegation or travel, purpose of delegation or travel, the sponsoring agency of delegation or travel, that agency covering the expenses of delegation or travel, cost of delegation or travel, number of accompanying persons, suggestions, and recommendations resulting from the delegation or travel), and similar reports shall be submitted by deputies of ministries, exceptional grades, governors, general managers, and those of their level through the agency to which they are affiliated to the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers / Council of Ministers Affairs Department, and the committees to take the necessary measures in their regard, and according to the observations made by the head of the legal department.
The Council of Ministers deliberated on the Covid19 pandemic issue, which is currently declining in cases in Iraq and the world, accompanied by easing the measures imposed. In light of the reports issued by the Ministry of Health, the Council of Ministers approved the following:
1- Cancellation of the Council of Ministers Decision (79 of 2020) and the cancellation of the Executive Order (97 of 2020) issued by the Office of the Prime Minister regarding the formation of the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety to combat the (Covid19 Virus) pandemic.
2- Cancellation of the Executive Order (13 of 2020) regarding the formation of the Higher Advisory Committee for National Health and Safety.
3- Cancellation of the Executive Order (217 of 2020) issued by the Office of the Prime Minister regarding the formation of a committee to strengthen government measures in the areas of prevention, health control, and awareness.
4- The Ministry of Health takes over implementing the Public Health Law (89 of 1981 / Articles 44 to 57) regarding combating communicable diseases.
In order to do justice to the Basra Governorate’s education directorate retired individuals and to address the problem of delayed pension and disbursing their rewards, the Council of Ministers agreed that the Retirement Fund would receive the files of Basra’s education directorate retirees mentioned in the Federal Supreme Audit Board report, and grant them their pension rights were paid from the date of their retirement. The Ministry of Finance / Budget Department listing the amount (2294769840) dinars, which appears in the Directorate for the year / 2021, in the draft federal budget law for the fiscal year / 2023.
In the same context, the Council of Ministers approved granting allowances of no more than 30% to social workers and employees of the social protection network, based on Article (15) of Law (22 of 2008), and work is underway starting from December 1, 2022, according to the mechanism followed in the Council of Ministers' decision. (15 for the year 2022).
The Council of Ministers discussed other topics on the agenda and issued decisions regarding them. The Council approved authorizing the Minister of Finance to continue borrowing from (Exim Bank), to finance infrastructure projects in Iraq, as stated in the memorandum of understanding signed between the Ministry of Finance and the aforementioned bank, provided that there is a contract signed by the beneficiaries.
When the aforementioned bank does not finance the full amount and the listed amounts, it is considered an investment project financed by the public treasury.
Media Office of the Prime Minister
November 22, 2022