Iran to begin second phase of subsidy reform plan

Photo: Iran to begin second phase of subsidy reform plan  / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 19

By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

Iran will begin the implementation of the second phase of the subsidy reform plan this week.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani made the announcement in a meeting with commanders of the law enforcement forces in Tehran, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported on April 19.

He did not provide any further details.

Earlier on April 15, Iran's minister of economic affairs and finance, Ali Tayyebnia said that a large number of people have not applied for receiving cash subsidies in the second phase of the subsidy reform plan.

Ten million high-income Iranians have been identified so far who can be excluded from receiving cash subsidies, he said.

Registration for receiving cash subsidies in the second phase of the plan started on April 9 and will last till April 20.

The Iranian parliament (Majlis) has allowed the government to start implementing the second phase of the subsidy reform plan at the beginning of the second quarter of the current Iranian calendar year (June 22).

On January 28, the Iranian Mehr News Agency quoted Mohsen Bahrami Arzi, an advisor to the vice president for executive affairs, as saying that the Iranian administration has once again asked rich families to voluntarily give up receiving cash subsidies.

The government expects about 30 percent of Iranian families to give up receiving cash subsidies, he noted.

"Currently the number of people who receive cash subsidies is even more than the country's population," he said.

"Many have migrated to foreign countries but they still receive cash subsidies, some have two or more ID cards and some are foreign nationals," Bahrami Arzi explained.

President Rouhani's chief of staff, Mohammad Nahavandian, said in November that the Iranian administration is not going to cut the cash subsidies of rich families since identifying such families is a kind of breach of their privacy.

"There are two substitute methods. The first is that affluent families give up receiving the subsidies voluntarily. And the second is that the administration creates more jobs for people," Nahavandian said.

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