Committees' recent meetings - 20 November 2020
A summary of Kurdistan Parliament committees' recent meetings and activities:
Municipalities, Transport, Communication, Travel and Tourism Committee
17 November - The committee, led by the chair Luqman Wardy (PUK), held their regular meeting.
The MPs discussed the Bill on Conservation of Water Networks and Water Resources in Kurdistan Region, which had its first reading in Parliament on 27 October 2020 and was directed to the committee for further work and refinement. The committee decided to arrange a consultative meeting next week with the general director of water in Kurdistan Region and the water managers of all four governorates of the Region, to prepare a comprehensive and qualitative report.
After discussion and exchanging views, all of the reports and notes sent to the committee were read and received a response or were directed to Parliament’s Presidency for further work.
Culture, Civil Society, Sports and Youth Committee
17 November - The Committee, led by the vice-chair Jalal Pareshan (KDP), met with Judge Ahmed Anwar, the Head of the Kurdistan Region Integrity Commission.
The meeting was held at the request of the committee, which sent their comments and questions to Judge Ahmed Anwar and asked for clarification and information on the cases of five million dollars allocated to Erbil as the capital of tourism in 2014, and 20 billion Iraqi Dinars allocated to Slemani as the capital of culture.
Judge Ahmed Anwar answered some questions and assured the committee that he will provide detailed data on both cases. He said that the Integrity Commission wants to coordinate more with the committee and follow up on any case where corruption is suspected.
Agriculture and Irrigation Committee
18 November - The committee, led by the chair Abdulsatar Majeed Qadir (KIG), held their regular meeting.
The MPs discussed the water bill that is being worked on in Parliament and decided to compare in detail with previous legislative proposals on water, in order to discuss it at their next meeting.
The committee also looked into solutions for the problems between farmers and landowners in Chrah village, and decided to submit a letter to Parliament’s Presidency requesting that the case be decided by law.
Regarding the committee’s visit to the livestock trade markets, the committee wrote to Parliament’s Presidency describing the problems and asking for livestock smuggling to be prevented because of its negative impact on the national economy.
The committee decided to meet with agricultural equipment sellers to understand their work.
Endowments and Religious Affairs Committee
18 November - The Committee, led by the chair Dr. Hawraman Gacheney (KIG), held their regular meeting.
The meeting began with a minute’s silence in memory of Dr. Firsat Sofi, the Governor of Erbil and a former MP from Parliament’s fourth term, who passed away this week of Coronavirus.
The committee's visits and follow-up with the Endowments and Religious Affairs Ministry and other relevant authorities were discussed.
The MPs discussed preparing a bill on Waqf property (charitable giving or endowment, usually of fixed assets, for charitable or religious purposes). Several suggestions were made and the MPs decided to hear the views of the relevant authorities and experts to further enrich the legislative proposal.
The committee decided to invite both the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs to a meeting to solve the problems facing religion students’ education in Kurdistan Region.
All of the reports and notes sent to the committee were read and discussed, and received a response or were directed to Parliament’s presidency for further work.
Martyrs’ Affairs, Genocide and Political Prisoners Committee
18 November - The Committee, led by the chair Sawsan Muhammad Mirkhan (KDP), held their regular meeting.
The MPs discussed a recent unfortunate incident: families of Peshmerga soldiers killed in the war against ISIS were angered and felt insulted on receiving donations of old, low value clothes from a US NGO, through the Peshmerga Ministry. The families protested outside the Peshmerga Hospital and burned the clothes, some saying that the cost of their travel to Erbil was more than the value of the clothes.
The committee decided to meet with the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs to follow up on why the NGO made a donation that was unsuitable and did not meet the real needs of the families, leading to feelings of anger and resentment.
18 November - MPs from the committee, led by the chair Sawsan Muhammad Mirkhan (KDP), visited the KRG Peshmerga Ministry and were welcomed by Minister Shoresh Ismail.
In their meeting also attended by Deputy Minister Sarbast Lazgin, the latest changes within the ministry, changes to the lists of retirees and martyrs to remove unwarranted claimants, and the ministry's efforts to carry out reform were discussed.
The committee chair Ms. Muhammad Mirkhan commended the efforts to reform the ministry. The ministry officials said that they hope for the reform process to continue and succeed, and for the lives of martyrs’ families to improve.
Minister Shoresh Ismail said, "The Kurdistan Parliament, as a constitutional institution of scrutiny and legislation, has always supported the Ministry of Peshmerga and the reform process. We hope that the Kurdistan Parliament will continue to work with us."
The committee and the ministry also discussed the recent unfortunate incident in which families of Peshmerga soldiers killed in the war against ISIS were angered and felt insulted on receiving donations of old clothes from a US NGO, through the Peshmerga Ministry. The minister said, "We pay tribute to the martyrs' families, who have sacrificed so much for our homeland. We at the Peshmerga Ministry unceasingly try to give martyrs' families their full rights. This was a misunderstanding by the organization that prepared winter aid for them. We will do our very best to fulfill our duty to help martyrs’ families."
18 November - The committee, led by the chair Reving Heruri (KDP), held their regular meeting by video conference.
The MPs gave their suggestions on finding a suitable mechanism to improve the welfare of the Peshmerga forces and provide them with some privileges or entitlements.
The committee agreed to continue their visits and meetings with relevant bodies to keep abreast of the problems and demands of the Peshmerga forces, and to find appropriate solutions for them.