‘No oil income would mean no pay for civil servants’ – Suli professor

Kurdistan Tribune – 24-12-2012 – Following the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) decision last week to halt oil exports from Iraq to Turkey, a Suli professor has warned that, because of the region’s dependence on oil, this could eventually result in civil servants going without their wages.

Economics professor and academic Mohammed Rauf, who lectures at Suli University, told Hawlati newspaper that, if the Kurdistan region’s oil income stops, the government will be unable to pay wages and salaries to its employees. He also said the government acts as the main factor in increasing unemployment in Kurdistan.

In an interview, Rauf told Hawlati :“I classified unemployment in Kurdistan as two types. First, the official one which is 15%. Second, the hidden one which is where wages are paid but there is no production. We have altogether 50% unemployment from these two types. We have 650,000 civil servants, of whom half are not making any contribution to the economy. The solution is to pay attention to sectors such as agriculture, industry and tourism. It is not good to rely on oil all the time. We can invest oil money in other sectors”.