Some $48 bln worth of projects semi-finished in Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.11

By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Some 1,200 trillion rials (about $48 billion) worth of road and transport projects are semi-finished in Iran, ISNA quoted Iranian parliament's vice speaker Mohammadreza Bahonar as saying on Dec. 11.

Yet the next year's budget bill has allocated 380 trillion rials (about $15.3 billion) to development projects, he added.

He further said that at least one fourth of the existing 40 percent inflation rate is due to the improper implementation of the Mehr housing plan.

Under this plan, which was initiated by former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, real estate developers are offered free parcels of land in return for building cheap residential units for first-time buyers, who receive 99-year mortgages for the purchase of the land.

On Dec. 8, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani presented the administration's draft of the national budget bill for Iranian calendar year 1393, which starts on March 21, 2014, to the parliament.

The proposed national budget amounts to about 7.83 quadrillion rials (about $315 billion based on the official exchange rate of 24,850 rials), an 8.4 percent rise year on year.

Next year's national budget is based on an oil price of $100 per barrel and a projected average exchange rate of 26,000 rials to the U.S. dollar for the fiscal year.

The funding for running the government increased by 240 trillion rials (about $9.6 billion) and was set at 1.95 quadrillion rials (about $78.4 billion).

The draft national budget estimates crude oil production and exports at about 3.3 million barrels per day and 1.5 million barrels per day, respectively.

Rouhani has said that the budget bill contains useful data on ways of providing public services and constructing infrastructures.

"The administration's main concerns are to create jobs, curb runaway inflation and boost economic growth," he added.

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