Iraq Passes Deficit Budget Based On $56/B Oil

The Iraqi parliament on 29 January passed the 2015 budget bill, projecting a deficit of ID25 trillion ($21bn) after trimming its oil price assumption down to $56/B from $70/B in an earlier draft. The projected deficit will require heavy borrowing by the state from local and international financial institutions, as Baghdad grapples with the twin threats of sharply lower oil prices and the Islamic State. The bill formalizes an oil export and revenue-sharing agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), despite objections by some members of parliament to what they see as preferential treatment of the KRG, which will receive 17% of actual federal expenditure. (CONTINUED - 1230 WORDS)