Iranian official: National budget to face $32 billion deficit
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jul.5/ Trend F.Karimov/
The budget bill for the current Iranian calendar year (March 2013-March 2014) will face some 800 trillion rials in deficit (about $32 billion based on the Tehran Forex Centre's USD exchange rate of 24770 rials), ISNA quoted the Tehran Chamber of Commerce official Mohsen Bahrami Arz-Aqdas as saying.
He added that the private sector is concerned about the realisation of goals set in the national budget, saying that the administration will not deliver the targeted revenues through exporting oil, selling assets, imposing taxes, levying duties and increasing fuel prices.
Increasing taxes to the level the budget bill has envisaged is not possible, he said, adding that the income which had been projected to be gained through raising fuel prices by 38.5 per cent will not be realised.
According to him, the revenues which had been projected to be gained through raising customs duties will not be realised because importing $50 billion worth of goods is not possible.
He also cast doubt on realising objectives of a plan for exporting 1.3 million barrels of oil per day in the current year due to international sanctions.
According to the International Energy Agency, Iran exported some one million bpd of oil in the first few months of 2013. Under such a situation, the entire income will be spent by the incumbent government and there will be no money left for the next government to spend, he said.
The concern is that the next administration may not continue paying cash subsidies and allocating a budget for development plans. It may even not pay salaries and civil servants in the final quarter of the year.
Members of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce at their monthly meeting on Tuesday reviewed and analysed the current year's national budget bill.
They expressed concern about the sharp budget deficit in the current year. According to them, the government will face financial problems.
They said the expectation of a miracle from the president-elect may spread disappointment and have negative effects on the population.
According to the Donya-ye Eqtesad Persian language daily, the meeting reached the conclusion that the budget bill has not been furnished with any policy to deal with sanctions, cut unemployment and increase the economic growth rate up to eight per cent.
If the budget bill is approved the country will face severe financial problems, so that monetary policy cannot curb the inflation rate, the Trend Agency reported.
Ebrahim Bahadorani, the chamber's vice chairman for economic studies put the current affairs budget for the current Iranian calendar year 1392 (March 2013-March 2014) at 2100 trillion rials compared to 1440 trillion rials in the past year, of which 1070 trillion rials was allocated. A development budget has been set at 560 trillion rials compared to 380 trillion rials, of which 150 trillion rials was allocated.
Bahadorani went on to say that oil income is forecasted to reach $26 billion in the current year, that is if 1.3 million barrels of oil are exported per day at $95 per barrel.