The cabinet began discussing the budget, which will rise to a record $79bn in 2009, on 21 September.

According to a statement by the National Information Centre in Iraq, the ceiling for allocations for transport will rise to $50m in 2009, from $30m in 2008.

Moreover, the cabinet also approved the merger of two bus companies, the General Company for Transport and the General Company for Passenger Transport, deciding there was too much overlap between their operations.

In total, $60.2bn of the budget will be allocated towards operational expenses while $18.6bn will be invested in the country’s infrastructure.