Tehran Budget Insufficient, Needs to be Increased Threefold: City Councilor

September 22, 2003
TEHRAN – Tehran City Councilor Nader Shariatmadari said here on Sunday that the current budget of the Tehran Municipality is insufficient, stressing that the budget must be increased “at least” threefold for running the affairs of the megalopolis.

Shariatmadari told the Mehr News Agency that the budget of 7.72 trillion rials (about 965 million dollars) for Tehran Municipality for the current Iranian calendar year of 1382 (ending March 19, 2004) is “not at all enough,” stressing that 50 percent of the budget is never materialized because of the restrictions in selling vertical building space.

He said the municipality has outstanding debts of as much as three to four trillion rials (375 million dollars to 500 million dollars) to individuals and various institutions, adding that the municipality would not be able to pay the debts with its current revenues.

However, Shariatmadari did not identify the creditors.

He said many municipal development projects have been left unfinished because of budget shortfalls, but did not single out the cause of the shortfalls.

Shariatmadari said that the Tehran City Council is considering to increase the price of urban utility services to support a certain part of the costs of the Tehran Municipality, stressing that the municipality still needs more governmental funds to remove its budget shortcomings.