Iran’s Rouhani submits next year’s budget bill to parliament
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 10
By Fatih Karimov– Trend:
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani submitted the budget bill for the next Iranian fiscal year, which begins on March 20, 2018, to the parliament.
Rouhani said that the budget bill has taken into account the main demands of voters in the May presidential election, namely plans to create employment, accelerate economic progress, reduce poverty, and stimulate private sector activities.
He made the remarks in the Iranian parliament Dec. 10, while outlining the characteristics of the proposed budget bill, the state-run IRINN TV reported.
Next year's national budget bill is based on an oil price of $55 per barrel and a projected average exchange rate of 35,000 rials to the US dollar for the fiscal year.
The overall budget ceiling is estimated at about 11,940 trillion rials, with government spending accounted for 4,290 trillion rials.
Meanwhile, the administration earmarked government spending for the current fiscal year (started March 2017) of 3,710 trillion rials.
About 1,280 trillion rials of revenues via taxes are forecasted for the next fiscal year, 120 trillion rials more year on year.
Also some 1,010 trillion rials of oil and oil products’ revenues are forecasted for next fiscal year, 120 trillion less compared to the current fiscal year.
The administration has decreased allocated funds for the development projects in the next year's budget by 15 percent.
The budget bill maintains a cap on monthly subsidy payments to public and allocates part of the Subsidy Reform spending to health care and reduction of poverty.
The value of the cash subsidies payment to the households has decreased to 230 trillion rials in the draft bill. The figure for current year is 420 trillion rials.
Iran's subsidy reform plan is aimed at easing the pressure on state finances by cutting tens of billions of dollars from government subsidies on food and fuel. The government pays cash to citizens as compensation for increased prices by cutting subsides.
According to the internal regulations of the Iranian parliament, the administration should present the annual budget bill by December 5 each year for review and approval.
The lawmakers have ten days for discussions on the bill in the subcommittees of the Parliament, which will then review lawmakers' suggestions and finalize a report to a parliamentary ad hoc committee reviewing the budget within 15 days.
The committee should discuss the budget bill within 15 days and provide its final report for a second reading in the open session of the Parliament. Parliamentarians will then confer the final bill.
Once the parliamentarians endorse the government’s proposed budget bill, it will go to the Guardian Council, the constitutional supervisory body, for ratification before becoming law.