18 Iranian MPs resign over budget dispute
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 10
By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:
Iranian MP Seyyed Sharif Hosseini on December 10 has confirmed the resignation of 18 representatives of the southern Khuzaestan province in parliament.
The MPs have resigned to protest at what they call severe cuts in the province's budget for the next year, the ISNA News Agency reported.
"Some of the provincial shares have been reduced in next year's budget bill, but Khuzestan province's share has been cut severely," Hosseini explained.
"Apparently there is no need for the presence of Khuzestan province's representatives in parliament, so we decided to resign en masse," he added.
According to Hosseini, the MPs will not take back their resignations unless the government revises the province's budget share.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani submitted the draft budget bill for the next Iranian year (to start on March 21, 2014) to parliament on December 8.
Iran's budget bill for next year has set a ceiling of 7830 trillion rials, about $315 billion based on the U.S. official exchange rate of 24,850 rials, the Fars News Agency reported on December 8.
The figure shows an 8.4 per cent growth year on year.
Meanwhile, the national development budget has been announced to be 1950 trillion rials (about $78 billion), a 240 per cent rise compared to the year before.
According to government sources, the bill has been devised on an average oil price of 100 dollars per barrel and exchange rate of 26,000 rials for USD. Iran's next calendar year starts on March 21, 2014.
Iran's economy is grappling with a series of issues including massive inflation and high liquidity.
Sanctions imposed by Western counties have also added to economic hardships.