Iran allocates $18B to facilitate import of essential goods
Tehran, Iran, June 25
By A. Shirazi - Trend:
Iran's government has allocated $18 billion to streamline the import of essential goods, Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari said.
Some $18 billion will be withdrawn from foreign exchange reserves to facilitate the process of the import of essential goods, Shariatmadari said on June 25, IRIB news agency reported.
Revenues from crude sales will be allocated to import goods and address people’s basic demands, indulging medicine, he added.
Shariatmadari further said another $24 billion would be put aside to address the needs of those who import basic materials needed for production and industrial machinery.
Revenues from non-oil sales (steel, copper, petrochemistry and zinc) will go in the second group of essential commodities, the minister added.
He said $5.6 billion will be awarded to importers to ship traditional and industrial goods that are categorized in the third group.
In a circular issued on June 20, the Iranian minister of industry, mines and trade called on all relevant organizations to put on hold import orders of some 1,400 goods.
The decision is reportedly part of efforts to stop illegal import of goods to the country and control rising prices across Iran.
This is while experts believe that the move by the government would further exacerbate the situation and increase the prices of all goods, including vehicles.
Chairman of Parliament's Economic Commission Mohammad Reza Pour-Ebrahimi said recently that the move aims to save foreign currencies, avoid the issue of capital flight and stop foreign investors withdrawing $10 billion from the country.
The Iranian rial plunged to a record low against the US dollar in the unofficial market on Sunday, continuing its slide amid fears of returning US sanctions after President Donald Trump in May withdrew from a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.
The dollar was being offered for as much as 87,000 rials, compared to around 75,500 on Thursday, the last trading day before Iran’s weekend, according to foreign exchange websites which track the unofficial market.
The fall of the national currency has provoked a public outcry over the quick rise of prices of imported consumer goods.