ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’, — After re-evaluating all investment ventures in the region the Kurdistan Regional Government has revoked the licenses for 238 of them, the minister for municipalities and tourism said on Sunday.
Samir Abdullah told Ak news that a number of other projects are being considered for scrapping.
The moves are seen as an effort to improve the government’s record on corruption. The many unfinished buildings lining the streets of the capital of the region,www.ekurd.netErbil, a testament to the problems development of the region faces. Unscrupulous business men often secure funding for projects and siphon the money off to different bank accounts causing the venture to grind to a halt.
Government officials have been implicated in corruption and one of the main demands of protesters who took to the streets in February was that the government clean up its record in this account.
Some observers have said that this latest move is part of an attempt to quench the current political crisis and bring the opposition back into the political process.
Iraqi Kurdistan Government KRG halts 238 investment projects.
The construction of tourist facilities, industrial complexes and housing are among those that have had their licenses revoked, Abdulla said.
Since last February till middle April, thousands of protesters gathered daily in Sulaimaniyah and other parts of Kurdistan against corruption and the lording over Kurdistan region by two main parties KDP and PUK. Kurdish protestors demand the ouster of the local Kurdistan government KRG, calling for improving services and living conditions and fighting corruption.
After 62 days of protests, the Governorate of of Sulaimaniyah has banned unlicensed demonstrations in the city. Heavy Kurdish forces deployed in the Sulaimaniyah city to prevent any demonstrations, and occupied the city center and other parts of Sulaimaniyah. The Security Committee in Sulaimaniyah banned on April 18 all sorts of protests.