Rouhani presents $262b budget bill to Majlis

January 18, 2016 - 0:0

TEHRAN — President Hassan Rouhani presented the 9.52-quadrillion-rial (about $262 billion) budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year (March 2016-March 2017) to the Majlis on Sunday.

According to the bill, 600 trillion rials (about $16.5 billion) will be allocated to development projects, while 670 trillion rials (about $18.5 billion) are assigned to public expenditure.

Together with the budget bill, a draft of the sixth five-year development plan (2016-2021) was also submitted to the Majlis.

Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Majid Ansari announced on Saturday that the development plan and the budget bill have been drafted based on sustainable development and resistance economy criteria. 

**** Hope for attracting $50b in foreign investment

Rouhani said he hoped that the country would attract up to $50 billion worth of international investment and finance in the coming year.
“The government’s main policy after the nuclear deal is to attract foreign investment, expand non-oil exports and make optimum use of [unfrozen] foreign exchange reserves,” Rouhani. “A stable and swift economic growth needs hefty foreign investment.”

*** 35% reliance on oil revenues

Some 35 percent of the next year’s budget, which amounts to 980 trillion rials (about $27 billion), is projected to come from oil revenues and the remaining sum will be injected from various sources, said speaker of the Majlis Planning and Budget Commission Gholam Reza Kateb.

The next year’s national budget was drawn up, envisaging the sale of 2.25 million barrels of oil per day, an average oil price of 40 dollars a barrel and the rial at 29,970 to the dollar.

In the previous Iranian fiscal year, which ended on March 20, 2015, the budget reliance on oil revenues was estimated at 36.3 percent.

Commenting on the budget bill, the government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said on December 23, that the country’s growth is expected to be 5 to 6 percent next year, while the inflation rate is predicted to decline to 11 percent. 

*** Subsidy reform plan to continue by 2021

According to the sixth five-year development plan, submitted to the Majlis, the implementation of the subsidy reform plan would continue until the end of the Iranian calendar year 1399 (March 2021).

The subsidy reform plan, also known as the targeted subsidies plan, started in 2010, during the administration of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The plan aims for the revenues generated by it to be spent on the poorest strata of the Iranian society and on making the country's industries and production units more efficient.