Over 60 million Iranians to receive $57-$73 as New Year cash assistance
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb.5 / Trend F.Mehdi/
The Iranian administration and the parliament have decided to pay $57-$73 in cash assistances to over 60 million Iranians on the verge of the new Iranian calendar year which starts on March 21, the Mehr News Agency quoted Tehran province's chamber of commerce chairman Yahya Al-e Es'haq as saying.
Based on this decision, 60 million individuals will each be paid 700,000 rials (about $57) and $73 will be paid to poor families. The money will be deposited in family breadwinner bank accounts by February 28.
On January 14, MP Abdolkarim Hashemi told the Fars News Agency that the Iranian administration is a facing problem by providing money for paying cash subsidies to the public.
In such a situation the second phase of the subsidy reform plan could not be implemented, he added.
"For the time being the government is providing necessary money out of sources other than freeing up prices based on the subsidy reform plan," he noted.
The subsidy reform plan pays out $37 to Iranians while eliminating subsidies for fuels and some commodities.
Nearly 74.5 million Iranians receive cash subsidies. So the government has paid around 746 trillion rials (about $61 billion) as cash subsidies within the past 22 months, equalling 15 per cent of the national budget for the current Iranian fiscal year.
When the plan started in December 2010, it was expected to cause about $32 billion in liquidity. However greater demand for the cash subsidies and the government's money borrowed from the central bank to pay for them led to a $45 billion liquidity.
The government implemented the first stage of its targeted subsidies plan towards the end of 2010 in an attempt to wean the country off food and fuel subsidies. At the time, Ahmadinejad called it the "biggest economic plan of the past 50 years".
It allows the government to gradually slash subsidies on fuel, electricity and certain goods over the course of five years with low income families being compensated with direct cash hand-outs.