Gov. says cannot cut cash subsidies to 24 million citizens

April 19, 2016 - 21:34

TEHRAN – Government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht has thrown into question the feasibility of cutting cash subsidies to 24 million people, saying it is “unfair” to delist Tehran residents with monthly incomes as high as almost $900.

The parliamentary legislation could be a blow to Rouhani’s popularity, people familiar with the matter say, because if the government avoids enforcing the ratification, it will be subject to legal questioning.
Already a cause of worry for the incumbent government, Nobakht complained of the legal conundrum which is a drag on the government.   
“This move is unfair and will create problems for most of the people,” Nobakht was quoted as saying.
However, with sagging oil prices cutting Iran’s national income, analysts have warned that Tehran will have to cut back the system of giving monthly cash payments as much as it is possible or risk running huge deficits.
According to new criteria outlined by the Majlis, the Rouhani administration will have to abandon monthly cash payments of around $12 to every Iranian for many people with monthly incomes beyond a $900, ISNA reported.
Originally, it was envisaged the surplus from the subsidy reform plan, which went into effect in 2010, would go into other sectors such as healthcare, public transportation, job generation, etc.
Now, the plan has been a bone of contention, forming new divisions among decision makers of the country.



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