Assets of Iran’s National Development Fund hit $40.1 billion

Tehran, Iran, July 9

By Milad Fashtami - Trend:

Assets of Iran's National Development Fund (NDF) stood at $40.168 billion at the end of the second Iranian calendar month of Ordibehesht (April 21 - May 20).

Director of Iran's National Development Fund Safdar Hosseini said that $2.8 billion of the mentioned amount will be allocated to the country's agriculture and industry sectors, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported on July 9.

He went on to note that another $7 billion will also be allocated to the oil industry's upstream projects.

It is while Hosseini said on June 17 that the assets of NDF stood at $61.7 billion at the end of the previous Iranian calendar year (March 20).

National Development Fund has been at the center of controversies in the past months.

Iranian MP Masoud Mirkazemi said on May 5 that he has some documents which show that the government took money out of the country's National Development Fund (NDF).

"The documents show that the government illegally took $4.1 billion out of the NDF in the last days of the previous [calendar] year (which ended on March 20)," Mirkazemi explained, Iran's Tasnim News Agency reported on May 5.

"The government took the money promising to return it once the blocked oil revenues arrive in the country," he said.

The government has rejected the claim. The deputy director general of NDF said on May 2 that the current administration has not taken any money from the fund.

"Taking money out of the NDF needs the parliament's approval," Qasem Hosseini said, adding that so far the parliament has not approved anything like that.

He added that the assets of the NDF amount to $60 billion.

"The NDF's reserves were around $54 billion when president Hassan Rouhani took the office last August," Hosseini told Trend on May 2.

The Supreme Audit Court of Iran (SAC), however, has confirmed that the government took some $4.1 billion out of the National Development Fund (NDF).

Fayyaz Shojayee, a prosecutor with SAC, said that the government used a special method for taking the money out of the NDF.

The NDF is Iran's sovereign wealth fund. It was founded in 2011 to replace Oil Stabilization Fund. Based on Article 84 of the Fifth Five-year Socio-Economic Development Plan (2011-2015), the National Development Fund was established to transform oil and gas revenues to productive investment for future generation.

Some 23 percent of the revenues from the mentioned sources went into the NDF in 2013. This share will reach 32 percent by the end of 2016.

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