The Iraqi Cabinet held its regular weekly meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi.

The Cabinet:

  • discussed public services in Basra, and received briefings on federal and local efforts to improve water and other essential services in the province.
  • received briefings on delivery of essential services in other regions of Iraq, with a focus on southern provinces.
  • discussed maintenance and upgrade works to several key bridges in Dhi Qar, Al-Muthana and Babylon provinces, and authorised the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Municipalities to take the necessary measures to complete these projects.
  • discussed internet and telecommunications services in Iraq and voted to merge the State Company for Internet Services and Iraqi Telcommunications and Posts Company (ITPC) into one new company to be known as The General Company for Communications and Informatics.

The Cabinet also discussed the draft federal budget law for next fiscal year.

(Source: Iraqi Govt)

The Iraqi Cabinet held its regular weekly meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi.

The Cabinet:

  • discussed public services in Basra, and received briefings on federal and local efforts to improve water and other essential services in the province.
  • received briefings on delivery of essential services in other regions of Iraq, with a focus on southern provinces.
  • discussed maintenance and upgrade works to several key bridges in Dhi Qar, Al-Muthana and Babylon provinces, and authorised the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Municipalities to take the necessary measures to complete these projects.
  • discussed internet and telecommunications services in Iraq and voted to merge the State Company for Internet Services and Iraqi Telcommunications and Posts Company (ITPC) into one new company to be known as The General Company for Communications and Informatics.

The Cabinet also discussed the draft federal budget law for next fiscal year.

(Source: Iraqi Govt)

In May of this year, we reported claims that Iraq’s anti-corruption bodies were investigating the contract to operate the duty-free shops at Baghdad and Basra airports, following reports of corruption from Al-Ahad TV.

According to a new report from Al-Ahad TV, and to documents recently received by Iraq Business News (see below), the Iraqi Parliament has recently written to the Minister of Transport asking him to appear in parliament to answer questions in relation to a varitety of matters, including apparent irregularities in the extention of the contracts with Iraq Duty Free, which is owned by Financial Links.

The report alleges that the provision of 5 busses, 200 passenger trollies and other items to the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) amounts to bribery and corruption, contrary to Iraqi Law.

The Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Bureau has also written to the Inspector General for the Ministry of Transport asking him to investigate the contract.

Iraq Duty Free denies any wrongdoing.

We’ll report more details as the story unfolds.

Additional information:

New report from Al-Ahad TV (in Arabic):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeoCezS5QNc

Original article:

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2018/05/15/were-duty-free-contracts-illegally-granted/

 

 

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi planes land in Damascus following 7-year hiatus

Following a seven-year hiatus caused by the economic embargo imposed on Syria and the unstable security situation, an Iraqi civilian airplane landed Aug. 20 for the first time at Damascus International Airport. Syria used this step politically and deemed it a victory for the Syrian army against terrorism, as was announced by the Syrian Minister of Transport Aug. 20.

In conjunction with growing air traffic, the director of Damascus International Airport, Nidhal Mohammed, revealed Sept. 12 that the number of arrivals to the airport increased by 20% over the same period last year, and the proportion of air freight also increased 15% from last year.

Prior to the return of the Iraqi airplane to Damascus, Iraqi Airways refrained from operating direct flights to Damascus, except for transit flights. Meanwhile, Syrian companies were transporting Iraqis to Damascus and vice versa — especially visitors to religious sites in Syria.

Click here to read the full story.

By John Lee.

The largest container vessel to dock at the Port of Umm Qasr has recently arrived at the Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT).

According to Container Management Magazine, Evergreen’s 5,652 teu-capacity Ever Useful, with a length of 285 m, beam of 40 m and a weight of 69,246 tonnes, called at Berth 27 at the end of August.

The magazine quotes BGT’s chief executive officer Phillip Marsham as saying:

“The call of the Ever Useful … clearly demonstrates the growing confidence of container lines in the economy of Iraq and the associated container trade growth.”

Situated in Umm Qasr, 50 km from Basra and 500km from Baghdad, BGT is operated by International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI).

(Source: Container Management Magazine)

According to a report from Rudaw, thousands of poor quality, overturned or water-damaged American cars have been imported to the Kurdistan Region over the past two years, due to the facilitations made by the KRG to car traders in a bid to increase revenues at customs points.

Statistics produced by the ministry of trade and industry show that 451,337 cars have been imported to the Kurdistan Region over the past five-and-a-half years.

The KRG has dismissed claims it has been facilitating the importation inferior quality cars.

More details here.

(Source: Rudaw)

By John Lee.

Fleet Line Shipping (FLS) has won a contract to transport 11,000 tons oil and gas equipment and pipes from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Iraq.

The first batch of pipe laying machines, each weighing 45 tons, was loaded on a ro-ro ship from Jebel Ali to the port of Umm Qasr in Iraq.

Delivery will be 450 kms from port.

(Source: X2 Elite)

By John Lee.

The Altun Kupri (Alton Kopri) bridge linking Kirkuk and Erbil provinces has been re-opened.

According to a brief statement from the Iraqi Govt, the bridge is vital for commerce and for fostering enduring ties between communities.

The route has been closed following clashes between Peshmerga and Iraqi forces in October.

(Source: Iraqi Govt)

(Picture credit: Levi Clancy)

By John Lee.

Iraq will reportedly reduce its visa charges for Iranian pilgrims later this year.

According to the report from Associated Press, the reduction will only apply to pilgrims of the “Arbaeen,” the anniversary of the passage of 40 days after the death of Shiite Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson.

Visas normally cost $40, but it was not reported what the new price will be.

(Source: AP)