13 October 2003
2004 BUDGET PRESS STATEMENT AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY Iraqi Minister of Finance Mr. Kamil al-Gailani
I am pleased to announce the release of the Iraqi Budget for 2004.
This budget represents an important step towards the rebuilding of Iraq by Iraqis.
The budget was prepared by a team of Iraqi experts, with a series of budget hearings attended by representatives from the various Iraqi ministries, and chaired by officials of the Ministry of Finance.
The Ministry of Finance fully discussed the proposed budget with each Ministry and, based upon available resources, agreements were made as to the required allocations for operating expenditures and capital projects.
The 2004 budget is characterized by the following:
1. The budget was prepared by Iraqi staff.
2. Budgets expenditures were funded by available Iraqi resources. It does not rely on increased borrowing, printing money, or foreign assistance.
3. Financing the 2004 Budget: The current budget shows a deficit of about 600 million dollars (900 billion dinars) compared to the 2003 budget which showed a deficit of about 3,000 million dollars (4,500 billion dinars). This deficit will be financed from the return of unspent Oil-for-Food program funds.
4. Undoubtedly the estimated needs to rebuild Iraq would exceed resources available for the 2004 budget. The Governing Council will exert all possible efforts to finance the above mentioned needs through activating the national economy and the private sector.
It will also be financed through the money Iraq is requesting from the United States and through the Donors in Madrid on 23 and 24 October.
The Governing Councils approval of the budget provides the authority for the commitment and expenditure of money by the Iraqi ministries for 2004 and sets the fiscal framework for 2005 and 2006.
Iraq is a country with enormous economic and human potential. By applying sound economic financial and monetary policies, and creating a good investment environment with international donors over the transition, Iraq will restore the economic and financial status which it previously held.
Through ambitious redeveloping programs, the people of Iraq will achieve prosperity, security, and stability.