Iraqi Economists Network

شبكة الاقتصاديين العراقيين

InfrastructureLegal & Regulatory Framework

Iraq’s draft electricity law: what’s right, what’s wrong?. By Luay Al-Khateeb

The government wants to expand power generation capacity rapidly, but proposed new legislation is inadequate for the task, say Luay Al-Khatteeb and Harry Istepanian

IRAQ’s electricity sector has been in crisis since 2003, with citizens still facing long hours of blackouts despite the government’s mammoth spending on electricity over the past 10 years. The sector has underperformed in delivering basic services and imposed huge financial burdens on the federal budget. The shortfall in generation capacity was marred by unprecedented load shedding, excessive losses during transmission and distribution, and massive financial shortfalls. The provision of electricity services is an absolute necessity for the future of the Iraqi economy and improved welfare of its citizens. However, an increasing demand for electricity, fuelled in no small part by large government subsidies, has been accompanied by a budget deficit in the billions of dollars, making the situation even worse. The decade-long electricity crisis has severely damaged the competitiveness of Iraqi industry and agriculture, imposing a significant social and economic burden on normal Iraqis. Citizens in dire need of…

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