By Salam Zidane for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The head of the Security and Defense Committee in the Iraqi parliament, Hakem al-Zamili, has spoken out about the corruption prevailing over Iraq’s border crossings. In a press conference held Oct. 3, he stated that the state was not benefiting from financial revenue that is directly going into the pockets of corrupt officials.

Corruption is robbing the state of potential revenue from the tariff law implemented this year to reduce the deficit in the current budget, which amounted to 24 trillion dinars ($18 billion). The General Customs Authority has announced that it had expected to collect $5 billion this year, but only $306.5 million had been received as of August.

Alaa Matar, a food merchant from Baghdad, told Al-Monitor, “The officials at the border crossings and customs are delaying processing their goods for up to a month to force [merchants] to deal with middlemen to reduce the delay to a week.”

He said, “Border crossing and customs employees work as middlemen between the managers and merchants and get paid 1 million dinars [$766] for each transaction. When it comes to imported goods with high taxes, these middlemen coordinate with the officials to change their category to goods with low taxes in exchange for thousands of dollars that go into the pockets of the customs officials.”

Matar added, “The goods coming from the Kurdistan Regional Government to Baghdad and the southern provinces should be taxed at the main entrance to the capital, but merchants are paying $2,500 to middlemen for each car to evade inspection.”

From 2003 until the end of 2015, the Iraqi government stopped applying the tariff law and merely applied the Iraq reconstruction tax, which amounted to 5% of the value of the goods, under Resolution 38 for 2003 issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority headed by Paul Bremer.

A major conflict erupted in 2015 between the local governments in southern Iraq and the KRG and the central government when the local bodies refused to enforce the law, but Baghdad finally used its power and applied the law and set up customs points around the capital to double-check customs.

Iraqi forces continue to make steady progress in the effort to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said on Wednesday.

“The Iraqi security forces had developed a lot of momentum over the past two years,” Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend told Pentagon reporters during a teleconference from Baghdad. “Now we’re seeing that momentum continue against ISIL, our common enemy, in Mosul.”

“The Mosul offensive is a large and extraordinarily complex operation that the Iraqis have been planning for a very long time,” Townsend said. Iraqi forces are moving forward on multiple axes toward Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, he said, but the effort to take back the city, held by ISIL since 2014, will not be easy.

“There’s a lot of hard fighting ahead but we’re confident the Iraqis will be successful,” Townsend said.

Iraqis to Raise Flag

The operation to liberate the city of more than a million people began Oct. 17.

The U.S. supported the planning and preparation of forces and provided advice and assistance — to include air and artillery strikes — the general said. In addition, the coalition has provided substantial investment, as well, he said, including weapons, equipment and training.

The relentless campaign of strikes, he said, has removed fighters, weapons and key leaders from the battlefield ahead of the Iraqi advance.

But, it is ultimately the Iraqis who are in charge of the operation, he pointed out. “They’re the ones making the decisions, and their forces are the ones who will enter Mosul and raise the Iraqi flag in the center of the city,” Townsend said.

By John Lee.

The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has reported that 32 banks and 15 remittance companies took part in its currency auction on Wednesday.

A total of $147,280,305 sold at a price of 1182 Iraqi Dinars (IQD) per dollar.

(Source: Central Bank of Iraq)

Parliamentary Economy: 2017 budget "dead"

Since 10.26.2016 at 12:57 (Baghdad time)Baghdad balances NewsThe Commission on the parliamentary economy and investment, Wednesday, that the financial budget for 2017 was "dead" in harsh Zerouk, noting that the financial budget will not takeovers, but high oil prices.

Committee Chairman Ahmed Kanani’s / balances News /, that "the federal budget for fiscal year 2017 was born" dead "and will not takeovers, but high oil prices, especially since the country is going through tough conditions in financial terms."

He added, "The non-oil revenues are very few and will not clog the deficit and what Parliament can do is just transfers between the allocations to change my," pointing out that "free investment allocations budget and this is a new burden."

Parliamentary Finance Committee announced, on Tuesday, said the size of the budget for the year 2017 amounted to 100 trillion dinars.

And as pointed out that the size of the oil revenues will reach 67.5 trillion and the deficit reached 21% .…AF%D9%8A%D8%A9

The central bank denied three private banking company and 99 banks from entering sell the currency window
26/10/2016 10:55

It decided to CBI, on Wednesday, depriving the three and 99 private banking company from entering the window banks sell the currency, while the reasons attributed to the violation of the laws and regulations of the bank for the purchase and sale of foreign currency.

A source at the bank in an interview with (long-Presse) that "the Iraqi Central Bank decided today, deprived of three private banks and 99 banking company from entering sell the currency window," noting that "deprive these companies and banks comes due to the violation of the laws and regulations of the Central Bank for the purchase of and sale of foreign currency.

"The source, who asked not to be named, said: "The three banks are, the regional Islamic Cooperation, and Melli Iran, Barcan," pointing out that "the banking companies that have been starved in a number of provinces, including Baghdad, Nineveh, Anbar and Kirkuk and Karbala.

"The Central Bank of Iraq counted on Monday, (29 August 2016), the foreign currency sale "window and a means to ensure stability," the dinar exchange rate to meet the Iraqi economy requirements, while assuring "a greater role" for government banks to buy and sell the dollar and the development and verification sources of funds used for the purchase of hard currency.

The Central Bank of Iraq was established independently as a bank under a law issued on the sixth of March 2004, as an independent body, which is responsible for maintaining price stability and the implementation of monetary policy, including exchange rate policies being sessions a day for buying and selling currencies.

By John Lee.

The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has reported that 33 banks and 15 remittance companies took part in its currency auction on Tuesday.

A total of $151,616,307 sold at a price of 1182 Iraqi Dinars (IQD) per dollar.

(Source: Central Bank of Iraq)

Parliamentary Finance reveal efforts to reduce the number of employees
October 25, 2016

Parliamentary Finance Committee unveiled Tuesday for efforts to reduce the number of state employees, attributed the reason for this is that the current number "overwhelms" the budget, while the projected attainment of the deficit in next year’s budget 21 percent.

The committee member said Masood Haider, in a statement, "The total 2017 budget amounted to trillion Iraqi dinars after the addition of five trillion in debt and internal and external loans," noting that "the budget included an amount of oil sold three million and 750,000 barrels."

He added, that "the estimated oil price is $ 40 and there is a rise of the price of a barrel over the next year," pointing out that "the share of the Kurdistan region agreed 17% of the budget."

Haider predicted "Achieving the deficit in the budget 21 percent," revealing at the same time of a "tendency to reduce the number of employees being a burden on the budget."

The House of Representatives completed, on Monday, the first reading of the draft general budget of the Federal Republic of Iraq for fiscal year 2017.

Rafidain Bank called dollar selling 1,200 dinars for those wishing to travel abroad

October -25:

Baghdad -arac Press
Rafidain Bank announced on Tuesday for selling the dollar for those wishing to travel outside Iraq, according to the controls and by three thousand dollars per person compared with 1200 dinars per dollar.

Press office of the bank said in a statement, that "based on the directives of the central bank and the need for citizens to buy dollars to need him when traveling outside the country decided to launch sales by 17 branches in Baghdad and the provinces and controls in accordance with the bank.

The statement pointed out that the conditions required to sell a $ 1200 dinars to the dollar on condition that the beneficiary offers passport with a ticket and the reason for his need for dollars for the purposes of treatment and official scholarship, study and other reasons convincing.

The statement noted that "the right of each person to get three thousand dollars only"