Top Iraq planner aims to cut 75 percent public jobs
| uzairakhan | 9th November, 2008
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BAGHDAD s planning minister has ambitious plans to trim the fat from the government, reduce its workforce by 75 percent in 10 years and rebalance a fiscal budget almost entirely reliant on oil exports. Iraq
`I dont want to give an exact figure but I think in years we can give up at least 75 percent of these people,` Ali Baban told AFP in an interview at his office in central
`The number of people working as civil servants increased in the last six years and this of course has an impact on the budget,` he said. `We should do something to decrease the number by transferring them to the private sector gradually and giving up some of our private sector responsibilities.`
has 3.3 million public employees — well over 10 percent of its total population — and according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), 25 percent of the national budget expenditures this year will go to salaries and pensions, up from 20.4 percent in 2007. By comparison, only 31 percent of fiscal spending in 2008 was allocated to rebuilding the war-torn countrys broken infrastructure, the IMF report said. Iraq
Baban said many public sectors could be privatised, including transportation, agriculture, industry and services. `All financial sectors, banks, insurance, capital markets, should be 100 percent private,` said the former leader of the Sunni Islamic Party.
s private sector is small. Although there are a handful of large private companies, 90 percent of Iraq Iraqs 100,000 companies are micro enterprises, according to the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for , a fund launched in 2004 by the United Nations and the World Bank. Iraq
The World Bank calculates Iraqi industry is mainly made up of the oil sector, represents 70.1 percent of the economy, while agriculture and services make up 8.6 percent and 21.3 percent, respectively.
Baban described his relations with his government colleagues as excellent but admitted he often felt he was `preaching in the desert. I think we will find strong resistance against this proposal because it is not easy to convince people to move from the public sector where there are a lot of guarantees. Unemployment in
is running at a dangerously high 40 percent. Iraq