Iraq cabinet approves $102.5 billion budget for 2015

'Projected deficit for the year is $19.1 billion'

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi cabinet on Tuesday approved a $102.5 billion budget for 2015 based on a projected oil price of $60 a barrel, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's spokesman said.
Rafid Jaboori also said that the projected deficit for the year is $19.1 billion. He did not give details on how the funds will be allocated.
Abadi's office issued a statement saying that the cabinet had approved the budget and that the premier has formed a committee to rework some parts of the draft law in legal terms.
The budget still needs to be approved by parliament -- something that never happened in 2014, mainly because of disputes between the autonomous Kurdish region and Baghdad over revenue and oil.
However, the two sides have since reached a deal, easing that obstacle to the new budget law passing.
Parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi has called a session on the budget to be held on December 25, his office said.
The country faces the dual challenges of increased expenditure because of falling oil prices and its battle against the Islamic State jihadist group, which overran large areas this year.
Iraq is one of the world's top oil producers, and oil sales provide the vast majority of its revenue.