1/5 of Iraqis below poverty line; PM Maliki: Iraq ranks first in economic development

Posted: July 13, 2013 in Iraqi Dinar/Politics
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At a time when the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri Al Maliki, announces that an Iraqi’s share of the national income has increased from 4 million Dinars in 2009 to 6 million Dinars last year; the Ministry of Planning confirmed that nearly one fifth of the Iraqis live below poverty line. Prime Minister Al Maliki considered that the 5-year plan for 2010 – 2014 was a great success; however a Parliamentary Economic Commission member and other economic experts questioned the accuracy of the numbers given by Al Maliki.

During a Cabinet session held at the beginning of June tackling the new 5-year plan for 2013 – 2017; Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki stated: “Iraq is the first in terms of economic development rate as the domestic product rate rose from 8 to 10% yearly during the previous four years “. Economy and Investment Parliamentary Commission member and State of Law Parliament Member Adul Abbas Shiyaa, regarded with skepticism the figures given by the Cabinet concerning the average individual income in Iraq; revealing that “these numbers are exaggerated and unrealistic”. “The unjust distribution of wealth is at the root of the increase of poverty rates in Iraq “added Shiyaa in a statement to Alsumaria.

He pointed out that “After 2003, the Iraqi economy became a market economy. As a result a new class of wealthy people emerged while the standard of living for the middle class regressed, closing in on poverty “. “Iraqi economy needs laws that can Contribute to economic development in all provinces and social categories”, he confirmed. In May 2010, Iraq announced the national 5-year plan for 2010 – 2014, aiming to bridge the gap between urban and rural regions, build infrastructure, provide social services and employment opportunities and elevating the GDP by 9.38% as a yearly increase; during the duration of the plan. In addition to that, it is necessary to diversify the economy which currently depends on oil revenues. However the Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation updated the plan after considering that the results achieved aren’t up to par. “The rates that suggested an increase in individual income in Iraq might not necessarily reflect the real rates”, noted financial expert Bassel Abdul Hadi, in a statement to Alsumaria. “Iraq is greatly dependent on oil revenues causing a noticeable increase in GDP which in turn reflects on the individual income rates”, he clarified.

“Income rates per capita is the GPD divided by the population number” , highlighted Abdul Hadi, stressing that “Iraq does not suffer from a high income rate as much as it suffers from an unequal distribution of wealth”. “Theoretically, the increase in the individual’s income might be correct; however on the practical level, this does not suggest an improvement in the Iraqi’s income since inflation rates are still high “, said economy expert, Abdul Rahman Al Mashehadani, in a statement to Alsumaria. “These percentages might not be very accurate especially when the exact population number is not taken into consideration. The last consensus was made ​​in 1997, which makes these statistics highly Doubtable “, he added. “Poverty rates in Iraq amount to 23%; which means that one quarter of the population live under poverty line while 5% of Iraqis live in extreme poverty” , reported the Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation.

It revealed that “the poverty line includes essential nutritional and non-nutritional needs”. The Ministry mentioned that these percentages decreased lately according to a preliminary survey undertaken by the Central Organization for Statistics. “The Indices of the preliminary survey, undertaken by the Ministry to determine the widespread of poverty in Iraq in 2,013, revealed that poverty rates went down to 18% in comparison with 23% in in 2007 “, said Ministry of Planning’s official spokesperson Abdul Zahra Al Hindawi, in a statement to Alsumaria. “The survey included 311 thousand people which made ​​it the biggest of its kind in the history of Iraq and the region “, clarified Al Hindawi. He pointed out that “the sample was chosen from different Iraqi provinces and from rural and urban regions”.

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