According to Reuters media agency, Iraq has approved measures requested by the International Monetary Fund to unlock loans that should help the country overcome a cash crunch caused by declining oil revenue, a senior government official said.
The agreement, reached last month between Iraq and the IMF, “is on track”, Mudher Salih, an adviser on financial policy to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, told Reuters late on Sunday.
Among the measures approved are settling by the end of the year all arrears owed to foreign oil companies operating in Iraq, Salih said. He did not say how much was owed.
The OPEC nation sought budget support from the international community after a collapse in oil prices over the past two years. The drop in revenue that resulted caused the public deficit to widen and delayed payments to foreign oil producers.
The media agency added that the IMF in May agreed to provide $5.4 billion over three years. But the funds are conditional on Iraq’s implementing measures to cut spending, increasing non-oil revenue and settling several billion dollars in arrears to oil companies.