Iran sets up special customs to import staple foods, medicine

Business Materials 11 May 2013 14:59 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May.11/ Trend F.Karimov/

Iran has set up special customs for importing staple foods and medicine, IRNA quoted Iranian Customs Administration deputy director Mohammad-Reza Naderi as saying.

The decision has been taken to speed up the release of staple foods, perishable foods, and medicine, he added.

First-Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi said that under the current severe economic sanctions against the country, the administration is committed to support low-income strata of society.

Meanwhile, MP Abdolkarim Hashemi said the Iranian administration is facing problem in providing money for paying cash subsidies to the public.

"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.

Iran's inflation rate reached 38.7 percent in the first month of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-April 20), the Mehr News agency reported, citing the Statistics Center of Iran.

Inflation in Iran amounted to 25.4 percent on the average during the past Iranian calendar year.

The inflation rate increased from 21.8 percent in the first calendar month of Farvardin to 31.5 percent in the final month of Esfand, according to the report. Growth in liquidity and foreign currency exchange rates were probably the main causes of inflation rise.

In December 2012, IRNA quoted Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Shamseddin Hosseini as saying that the Iranian administration has special plans to curb a probable surge in inflation during the final months of the current Iranian calendar year, ending on March 20, 2013.

Since recent rises in prices of goods are in close relation with rises in foreign currency prices, we should rein in foreign currency shocks, he added.

The International Monetary Fund said on April 16 that Iran's economy contracted by 1.9 percent in 2012 and is expected to shrink by 1.3 percent this year as it reels from the impact of Western sanctions.

The economy of the Islamic republic is, however, forecasted to grow next year by 1.1 percent, IMF said in its annual World Economic Outlook.