A veteran Iraqi economist who is advising the country's new Prime Minister, Mustafa Al Kadhimi, has revealed astounding figures on government waste in the resource-rich but impoverished nation.
Mudher Salih told of a state obsessed with generating money from its oil sector without acting to develop the country or plug holes in the budget that have been sucking liquidity out of public finances for years.
The electricity sector costs the government about $10 billion (Dh36.73bn) a year to run but generates only 7 per cent of its operating costs in revenue, Mr Salih told the official Iraqi news agency on Tuesday.
Iraq also suffers crippling power cuts and imports electricity and gas from Iran to boost production.
Official datas show its generation capacity at 16,000 megawatts, compared with the 24,000 to 30,000 megawatts needed to satisfy demand.
Mr Salih, a former central bank official, is one of the few senior independent experts in Iraq who survived purges under Saddam Hussein.
He retained a senior position in the state after the consolidation of the Shiite political ascendency in 2005, the year Iraq had its first democratic poll post-Saddam.
Mr Salih said Iraq imported $50bn worth of fuel in the past 10 years, although it is one of the top five members of Opec.
"This amount could have been used to build 10 large oil refineries," he said.
A Kurdish policeman in Kirkuk was found beheaded on Sunday morning in
what his family believe to be a “terror-related incident.”
The body of Bahjat Anwar, a father-of-five and member of Kirkuk's police force was discovered in his vehicle in the city's Askari neighbourhood.
Anwar's son Hussein Bahjat said he was unable to reach his father on
three of his mobile phones after he left to repair his car on Saturday
A number of knife wounds was found on his body, his brother Awad Anwar told Rudaw, adding that he had money and phones on his person at the time.
"The incident took place on the intervening night of May 28-29. The body of the four-year-old girl was found in a well on May 29 morning. The post-mortem report has revealed the girl was subjected to sexual assault and homicide. A case is being registered and suspects are being interrogated," Chhatarpur Superintendent of Police (SP) Kumar Saurabh told reporters here.
He also said that an investigation is underway into laxity allegations on part of police officials. "If it is found true, those involved will be suspended," Saurabh said.