Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 17
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, Ali Tayebnia has dismissed media reports quoting him as saying the government will revise the oil price in its budget bill for next fiscal year(to start on March 21) down from $72 to $40/barrel, Iran's ISNA news agency reported Jan. 17.
Tayebnia said that there is no definitive prediction about oil prices, adding while some forecasts put the price below $40/barrel, some others say the price may return to $70/barrel.
"We should be prepared for all conditions," the minister said.
The government has prepared various scenarios relating to the oil price in next year from $40 to $70 per barrel, he added.
Tayebnia also said that the government has no plan to compensate slumping oil revenues by raising taxes.
The fall in the global crude oil price from almost $110/barrel to below $50/barrel in recent months has imposed serious pressure on the Islamic Republic's economy.
The OPEC oil basket price was $107.89 in mid-June, but has been in dramatic decline, especially after October. The price stood at $43.14 a barrel on Jan. 15.
The falling oil prices forced Iran's government to decrease the oil price figure in the proposed budget bill for the next Iranian fiscal year to $72 per barrel from the current figure of $100.
Oil revenues share about 50 percent of Iran's current fiscal year budget, meanwhile the figure has been decreased to 33 percent in next year's budget bill.
President Hassan Rouhani already confirmed that the Islamic Republic's oil revenues have decreased by 30 percent as a result of the price fall.
Experts believe that due to the continuing fall of oil prices in global markets, a budget deficit in the current and next fiscal year is inevitable.
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