The Kurdish Globe
Immediately after the approval of Kurdistan Region's 2012 budget, the council of ministers discussed important issues and made important decisions in its regular session of Monday, June 25th, 2012.
The session was headed by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and also attended by his deputy Imad Ahmed and his cabinet ministers, only a day after the approval of the region's 2012 budget.
The first decision made in the session by PM Barzani was to resume within 24 hours all the loans, such as housing loan, marriage loan and all other types of loans and borrowings.
The council ordered the relevant institutions to make all the arrangements and preparations for the speedy implementation of the decree.
Another achievement of the session was approving the employment policy drafted by the Region's Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. It was also decided that the Ministry of Finance and Economy should allocate the required budget for the implementation of the policy.
According to this initiative, the unemployed people and the job seekers will be given vocational training and assisted by the Ministry of Labor to find job opportunities, especially in the private sector.
Recruitment for the public sector was also another subject, whereby Barzani ordered the commencement of the hiring process for the 17,000 positions approved within this year's budget.
The council decided that a special committee will be formed to develop the employment plan and implement it. Barzani reiterated that the process should be very transparent.
Worsening traffic situations and rising number of accidents and casualties and methods to address these issues were another topic of the session, where short term and long term solutions were proposed.
Among the short-term solutions proposed were imposing more severe penalties on infringements, installing fixed speed traps, intensifying control especially in the highways, increasing the fine rates, mounting mobile traffic police stations and installing more traffic signs on the roads in cooperation between both ministries of interior and reconstruction.
A couple of long-term solutions were also proposed, concentrating on raising public awareness about traffic signs and accidents through a course in the schools to be implemented by the Ministry of Education and starting a large and continuous campaign through the media channels, which will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior.
A further decision was to start another campaign through the Ministry of Municipality and Tourism to raise public awareness about protecting the environment and keeping cities and tourist areas clean.
The session also discussed the issue of public sector employees of other parts of the country who have fled away from their homes due to the instability or insecurity and relocated in the Kurdistan Region.
Most of those IDPs are Christians and the central government is not willing to pay their salaries. Hence the KRG has decided to pay their salaries.
KRG Premier decided in the session to continue paying those salaries and asked the ministries to make use of their skills, expertise and sincerity in the KRG institutions.
PM Barzani also asked the Iraqi government to pay the rights and benefits of those people and not to escape from this responsibility.
Regarding the issue of university admission for the high school graduates, the council decided to establish a committee to develop an admission strategy in a way that admission is based on the demand from the market and the government. This means that fields with high market demand be given priority and students should be encouraged
to apply for those fields rather than fields for which there is little demand or excess supply.