A number of Iraqi parliament members on Saturday (September 15th) said they are considering a draft law that would set up a fund to ensure national financial wealth is saved for future generations.
"The Iraq Generations' Fund" would be used if the country were to come under an emergency situation threatening its economy and its citizens' standards of living.
"The proposal is under discussion inside parliament, and members are studying its feasibility as a first step," MP Furat al-Shara told Mawtani.
"The resulting draft would be then subjected to a first and second reading, followed by a vote, ratification and actual implementation," he added.
According to al-Shara, "the proposal includes setting up a special fund, whereby a certain percentage, set tentatively at 5%, would be deducted from annual state budgets. The money would be deposited into that fund, and later invested or saved for our future generations."
"The objective behind establishing this fund is to create a national financial [savings] stock that could be used in the event of a future crisis, emergency or disaster that threatens national economic security and the standard of living of [future] generations," he said.
"We want this fund to be a real guarantee for our children to help them overcome all the potential challenges, whatever their kind, size or impact," al-Shara said. "We are taking into account, for example, the likelihood of a significant deterioration in oil prices, which we depend on for our financial revenues, or if the country came under a severe wave of drought."
Al-Shara said he hopes the law will be ratified as soon as possible.
There are "many legislations taking priority before parliament in the near future, but we hope we can move soon thereafter to approve the fund, since it enjoys considerable support by parliament members", he said.
"We are currently working to complete all the technical and legal aspects of the draft, configuring it as a special integrated bill," he said. "There are a number of experts and legal academics who expressed their desire to help formulate the articles, paragraphs and material for the draft, including the working mechanisms and expressing the needed opinions in this regard."
MP Nahida al-Daini told Mawtani, "There are many countries around the world, including some in our Arab region, that have special financial funds kept for [future] generations to safeguard their rights to life and a decent living."
"Therefore, I find it necessary that this fund be set up similar to these countries, in order for the deposited money to help our children not only in times of crises but under any other situation," she said. "Once they reach the age of adulthood, the money would be put at their disposal to enable them to build their future on solid foundations and help them overcome all financial difficulties."
Al-Daini said enacting the legislation requires time so all aspects of the draft can be completed, including "identifying the powers and parties responsible for implementing the project, the deduction mechanisms from oil revenues, when and how the money will be released and distributed to the beneficiaries, and other technical and legal matters".
"There is hard work before the parliamentary committees sponsoring the law, but we hope that this work will not take long, and that the draft will be ready for discussion and vote inside the parliament soon," she said. Economic specialist Abdul Aziz Hassoun also welcomed parliament's resolve to establish the fund, calling for support for the project to hasten its implementation.
"This fund will create a safe and stable life for our children," Hassoun told Mawtani. "It will be the primary guarantor of the continuity and sustainability of economic development and social progress.
"It is also an important factor and motive in addressing any circumstances or variables across the upcoming periods," he said.
"Our financial revenues, while they are our property, are also the property of our [future] generations. They have the right for us to secure the funds they need to uplift their resources, energies, and to serve their country," he said.