Public and private sector included

Central Bank official says employee salaries must be paid in Iraqi dinars

BAGHDAD, October 3 — Dr. Mohammed Yunus, Deputy Director of Foreign Exchange at the Central Bank of Iraq, stated on Monday that all employee salaries in the public and private sectors must be paid in Iraqi dinars as the country struggles to contain U.S. dollar exchange rates.

Speaking in a television interview with journalist Karim Hamadi, Yunus emphasized that the country is gradually moving towards further limiting transactions in other currencies, with special exceptions for oil companies and similar entities.

The decision to prohibit dealing in dollars is not new. At the beginning of this year, the Prime Minister mandated that all government departments, the private sector, and the public sector must deal in Iraqi dinars. However, there is an exception for companies and entities with contracts in dollars, such as oil companies and others.

All contracts between companies and employees or between the state and citizens, including salary payments and others, must be in Iraqi dinars.

Today, we have reaffirmed to banks that the remaining red line is when citizens deposit money in U.S. dollars; at that point, they must also receive their deposit in U.S. dollars.

The situation has changed today, and we want to protect the Central Bank and Iraqi banks from sanctions, deprivation, and problems. Therefore, we must comply with international laws and practices.

I am puzzled by the word ‘crisis.’ Iraq currently has historical reserves exceeding $100 billion, and we possess the fourth-largest gold reserve in the Arab world. We do not have a crisis. The price of a barrel of oil is $90, and we export 4 million barrels per day.

Dollars are available and accessible to anyone or entity that uses official channels to obtain them. How can I compare myself to Lebanon? Lebanon does not have the resources we possess, and our inflation rate is declining despite the exchange rate situation.