Kurdish region of Iraq has declared that the regional government will disburse the salaries of government employees except the security personnel. The region also noted that it is currently going through economic crisis due to low oil prices.
The decision was taken "in order to ensure the continued distribution of part of the monthly salaries and allowances," the autonomous region's government said.
Delayed salary payments from last year "will remain as loans to the finance ministry and will be entered in a special account... Until the financial situation improves," it said.
Iraqi Kurdistan has been independently exporting crude via Turkey since a deal between it and Baghdad on oil and revenue sharing collapsed last year. Plunging prices have made a major dent in the oil revenues on which the region relies for the vast majority of its funds.
Salaries for some Kurdish government employees have fallen months in arrears, and some have gone on strike to protest unpaid wages. The announcement about salaries came after Kurdish leader Massud Barzani called for a referendum on independence for Iraqi Kurds.
But with immediate independence not a practical option, Barzani's call was likely an appeal to nationalism ahead of the bad news on salaries, or an attempt to otherwise aid himself politically.