Economy Iraq cabinet approves 2023 draft budget of $136bn By Reuters March 14, 2023 Reuters/Michele Tantussi Prime Minister Shia Al-Sudani says the deficit is estimated at 63 trillion dinars in the new budget Iraq’s cabinet has approved a 2023 draft budget of 197.828 trillion Iraqi dinars ($135.6 billion), Prime Minister Shia Al-Sudani said. The deficit is estimated to come to 63 trillion dinars in the new budget, he added. The draft budget will be referred to parliament for approval. In February, Iraq’s central bank said it plans to allow trade from China to be settled directly in yuan for the first time, in an attempt to improve access to foreign currency. The central bank has been taking urgent steps to compensate for a dollar shortage in local markets, which prompted the cabinet to approve a currency revaluation earlier this month. Earlier, Iraq’s cabinet approved a currency revaluation and set the exchange rate at 1,300 dinars per US dollar. The Iraqi dinar had been selling at 1,470 dinars against the dollar before the New York Federal Reserve introduced tighter controls on international dollar transactions by commercial Iraqi banks in November 2022.