Finance Minister Baqer al-Zubaidi said Iraqi ministries could not spend most of the money earmarked for their projects in 2005.
He said up to $9 billion of last year’s budget could not be utilized and they have been added to this year’s budget.
He did not say why the huge sum of money remained unspent while the country’s infrastructure and public utilities are in urgent need of rehabilitation.
The minister stopped short of saying which projects the ministries had to shelve but privately officials say investing the money would certainly have resulted in a flurry of economic activity in the country.
The government blames insecurity and mounting violence for the sluggish implementation of development and reconstruction projects.
If implemented the projects would have put many jobless Iraqis to work.
Projects worth $2.5 billion to develop oil fields in the country had also to be shelved, the minister said.
The Oil Ministry could not spend the money because it failed to find foreign companies willing to sign and implement contracts in the war-torn country.
The ministry is expected to invest heavily in the oil sector this year, but analysts doubt whether it can lure foreigners to work in Iraq.
Oil refineries are in need of a revamp as their output is nearly half their pre-war level and way below domestic needs.
Iraq, despite its massive oil wealth, currently relies on fuel imports in a bid to meet acute fuel shortages.