Gov't orders Iranian banks to pay it $2 billion currency differential
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 7/ Trend M. Moezzi
With Iran under pressure to pay out cash subsidies for February and March, some private and public banks have been told to pay the government more than $2 billion, Mehr news agency reports.
The government wants banks to pay back the difference between the foreign currency they got at official rates and what that currency is now worth.
So far, the list of banks and the money they have been told they owe includes: EN Bank, $269 million; Bank Pasargad $203 million; Parsian Bank, $197 million; Sarmaryeh Bank, $50 million; Karafarin Bank, $81 million; Saman Bank, $383 million and Bank Melli $979 million.
Iran's year-old targeted subsidies programme pays each citizen about $45 a month while eliminating subsidies for energy and commodities. That means $2.7 billion in cash payments go out every month, according to Minister of Economic and Financial Affairs, Seyed Shamseddin Hosseini.
A recent report by Iran's Supreme Audit Court said the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has had to borrow $6.5 billion from the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to pay for the targeted subsidies programme.