Iran's $524b budget to boost industries, curb inflation

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday submitted to Majlis a 5,390-trillion-rial (about $524 billion) budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year (to start on March 21) - MNA reports.

Ahmadinejad told parliament that his government is aiming to reduce Iran's reliance on oil income, and push ahead with a major subsidy phase-out. Moreover, he says one of the characteristics of the budget is to overcome inflation, poverty and unemployment.

The president briefed the lawmakers on specific characteristics of the budget bill, saying the next year's budget allocated over 475 trillion rials to development projects.

Ahmadinejad urged lawmakers to swiftly approve the package of measures, so he can continue what he refers to as his drive to reduce social inequality.

The budget bill for the new Iranian calendar year encompasses measures that give Ahmadinejad the mandate to promote his major economic plans, according to Press TV.

The budget will mainly depend on oil and gas exports which constitute most of the government revenue as of previous years.

The draft budget for the next Iranian year, which begins on March 21, was around $172 billion, he said. In addition to that, the budget for state-affiliated companies was $352 billion. Last year the total budget amounted to $368 billion.

"One of the characteristics of the budget is to narrow the gap between social classes," he said in a speech broadcast live on television.

Ahmadinejad said the new budget was "transparent, integrated and simple," adding that the government did not expect the parliament to alter the bill.

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