Tehran, Iran, December 29
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
If the Iranian government employs 5,000 people as workforce for collecting tax and preventing tax evasion, it will earn 200 trillion rials ($6.64 billion), Iranian MP Ahmad Sajjadi has said.
This will be a much bigger sum than these people will need as wage, he told Trend December 29.
Sajjadi, who is member to the Parliament's Energy Commission, made the remarks answering the question regarding the price that should prevent deficit in the country's next-year national budget.
He said that oil needs to be set in the budget at $45-50 per barrel to prevent deficit, however adding that the government would better reduce reliance on oil revenues and organize tax collection and cash subsidies instead.
"The government is paying 43 trillion rials ($14.3 billion) as cash subsidies. It needs to reduce the amount to 20 trillion rials by stopping the payment of subsidies to the rich and allocate the remaining 23 trillion rials to production," the MP stated.
He accused the Rouhani administration of having kept the scope of people receiving the cash payments wide in order to ensure votes in the next presidential election.
"The government has caused great damage to development projects by doing so. It needs to cut the subsidies next year," Sajjadi stated.
Iran's revenues depend heavily on oil. The country has suffered greatly in the past couple of years after its oil prices plunged from over $80 per barrel to about half that amount.
Tax evasion is rampant in the country as a result of inefficient collection tools and regulations.
Cash subsidies are a great burden, so much so that according to Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, they take most of the country's oil revenues.