Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 31
By Fatih Karimov – Trend:
The Iranian parliament has approved general outlines of the national budget bill for the next Iranian fiscal year, which will start March 20, after amendments.
The bill was approved on Jan. 31 with 182 votes in favor of it, 73 against and 6 abstentions, Iran’s state-run IRINN TV reported.
The bill was earlier rejected during the session of the parliament on Jan. 28, with 120 votes against it.
The first draft of the bill was rejected by lawmakers on various grounds, including the proposal to remove 33 million people from the cash subsidy list through a two-stage process.
The bill then returned to a joint parliamentary commission for revises. The joint commission is a legislative body responsible for reviewing budget bills as well as five-year development plans proposed by the government.
The parliament approved the bill’s generalities after the commission implemented the proposed amendments.
Iranian media reported that the revised budget allocated to cash subsidy payments in the next fiscal year has increased by 70 trillion rials ($1.55 billion) to reach 300 trillion rials ($6.66 billion).
President Hassan Rouhani submitted the new budget bill to the parliament on Dec. 10, 2017. Members of the special commissions of the parliament put forward their proposals and amendments to the bill to the joint commission before it spent 25 days to weigh in on the details of the bill and present its draft version to the parliament Presiding Board on Jan. 20.
The Iranian MPs have started reviewing the details of the budget. After the details are approved, the bill will be sent to the Guardian Council, the constitutional supervisory body, for ratification before becoming law.
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.