Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 24
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, Iranian vice president for planning and strategic supervision, says oil should not be detached from Iran's economy.
The share of oil revenues of the national budget should be reduced, Iran's ISNA news agency quoted Nobakht as saying on Jan. 24.
"If the economy of resistance is implemented properly, we will be able to run the country even with less than $40 billion oil income," he said.
"Some believe that reliance on oil has caused a retreat in the Iranian economy. But, I should say that over the current century, oil has played a key role in the economic development of Iran. So, oil should not be detached from the national economy."
The term "resistance economy" was originally announced by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the summer of 2010. It is designed to make Iran less vulnerable to international sanctions by relying less on crude-oil exports by increasing domestic production and knowledge-based exports.
In October, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran's dependence on oil revenue is putting the Islamic Republic's economy at the mercy of major powers.
"It is all but obvious what future lies in store for such a country ...Instead of relying on its mineral resources, Iran should rely on the talent and potential of its youth."
"Only then would Iran's economy become immune to the influence of powers," he said.
Iranian lawmakers have initiated a move to wean the national budget off oil earnings.
The parliament has already allowed the government to increase its revenues from income tax in the next Iranian calendar year (starting on March 21) by 22 percent, and up its earnings from miscellaneous income tax by almost 40 percent.
Iran's Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari announced in early January that oil dependency in the new draft budget proposed for the next Iranian calendar year would be around 30 percent, the lowest ever in Iran's budget history.