MP says to have proof Iranian government took money out of NDF

Iran Materials 5 May 2014 12:59 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, May 5

By Milad Fashtami - Trend:

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

The documents reporetedly 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 the money once the blocked oil revenues arrive in the country," he said.

The government has rejected the claim, but Mirkazemi advised the officials to be honest and say the truth.

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, and since then the figure has reached $60 billion, deputy director general of the NDF," Hosseini told Trend on May 2.

Commenting on earlier reports quoting Rouhani as saying that the NDF was empty when he took office, Hosseini said it was a misunderstanding.

"President Rouhani meant that the government had no money, not that the NDF is empty. The NDF is a non-governmental institute, which has sources other than the government," he explained.

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.