News & Reports News Year 2011 April , 2011 Iran MPs approve draft of national budget

Iran MPs approve draft of national budget

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The Iranian Parliament (Majlis) has approved the draft of the national budget bill for the current Iranian calendar year, which started on March 21. The administration's general outlines of the national budget bill for the new fiscal year were approved on Tuesday with 149 votes in favor, 61 against, and nine abstentions from the 225 MPs who were present in the Majlis, IRNA reported.

The budget bill, which was submitted to the Majlis on February 20, envisages 5.39 quadrillion rials (approximately $513 billion) of expenditures for the 2011-2012 fiscal year in two parts, namely the budget for state-affiliated companies and banks and the general budget.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's delay in submitting the bill sparked criticism from lawmakers, who said the Majlis did not have sufficient time to review all aspects of the bill.

The budget is based on an oil price of $80 per barrel, well below global prices over the past two months, and the value of the US dollar is estimated at 10,500 rials in the bill.

The 45 percent increase in the national budget compared to the national budget of the previous Iranian calendar year is partly due to expenditures for the government's subsidy reform plan, which was launched in December 2010.

The plan aims to gradually remove subsidies on gasoline, natural gas, electricity, and food over a five-year period and instead give families cash payments as compensation
.