Iranian President: Iran shares with experience in economic reforms

Business Materials 7 January 2011 12:00

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that a number of foreign countries have asked Iran to provide them with its experiences in economic reforms, Fars News Agency reported.

"Officials of several countries, including a number of major states, want to use our experience in economic overhauling and subsidy reforms," Ahmadinejad said in a meeting with a number provincial directors and managers in Iran's Northern Province of Semnan.

"Without making any hue and cry, we have so far dispatched a number of our experts to these countries to transfer the experience to them," the Iranian president added.

"Right now, there are growing international demands for acquiring Iran's experiences in political and management areas as well as other fields," President Ahmadinejad noted.

On December 19, Iran began a long-awaited subsidy reforms plan after months of speculation regarding the timing or degree of the subsidy cuts.

The price of heavily subsidized gasoline (for the first 60 liters purchased by each motorist per month) was increased to 4,000 rials ($0.40) per liter, from 1,000 rials ($0.10) per liter. All gasoline purchased above the monthly quota will be priced at 7,000 rials ($0.70) per liter going forward.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced at the time that the launch of his economic reform plan is aimed at overhauling the country's economy by phasing out energy and food subsidies.

Under the plan all subsidies are to be gradually removed during a five-year period.

The subsidy cuts (also known as targeted subsidies) plan - encompassing key consumer goods such as gasoline, natural gas, and food - is said to be one of the most important undertakings in Iran's recent economic history.

Before the official announcement of the plan, every family member received a sum of 810,000 rials (USD81) in cash subsidies for a two-month period.

Ahmadinejad has also vowed that the Iranian government would tackle economic problems such as housing, unemployment and improve the banking system through the reform plan.

According to the president, the initiative will lead to a better distribution of wealth among the public.

Officials say energy subsidies have cost the Iranian government around 100 billion dollars a year.