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Basra: Moritorium on New Development Projects
Budget Deficit Dampens Reconstruction Spending in Southern Province
06/03/2009 6:44 PM ET
The head of the Basra Provincial Council Reconstruction Committee has announced that a budgetary crunch in the province will prevent the local government from taking on any new reconstruction projects this year.

Funds available for Basra’s development budget fall 97 billion Iraqi dinars (about 84 million US dollars) short of those necessary to sustain projects already approved by the provincial council, according to remarks by Mustafa Atiya Rasn, the reconstruction committee chair. Rasn told al-Malaf Press that this shortfall would mean that no further development projects would be approved in 2009. The deficit in the 334 billion ID ($289 million) provincial reconstruction budget would be made up by funds borrowed against the 2010 reconstruction budget, Rasn added.

The councilman also said that an oversight committee would be constituted to monitor development spending for waste and corruption.

Rasn appealed to the Iraqi ministries in the federal government to work with the local authorities in Basra to bring reconstruction and employment projects to the province.

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