Majlis committee approves next year’s budget bill

December 25, 2019 - 16:54

TEHRAN- The Iranian parliament (Majlis)’s Ad hoc Budget Review Committee on Tuesday approved the 1.988 quadrillion rials (about $473.5 billion) national budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year, starting March 20, Mehr news agency reported, quoting a member of the committee as saying.

Mohammad Khodabakhshi said the committee held two meetings on Tuesday to investigate the budget bill, in which Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and Budget and Planning Organization (PBO) Head Mohammad Baqer Nobakht together with a number of other officials including the acting chairman of Majlis Research Center debated over different parts of the bill.

The bill had been approved by Majlis’s Planning and Budget Committee on December 16.

On December 8, President Hassan Rouhani submitted the administration’s draft of the national budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year 1399 to the Majlis.

The proposed budget amounted to about 19.88 quadrillion rials (about $473.3 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials), with a 14-percent rise from the current year’s approved budget.

The bill has estimated the government’s budget at 5.63 quadrillion rials (about $134.04 billion), 8.2 percent higher than the figure in the present year’s budget.

A 15-percent rise has been envisaged in the salary of the governmental employees.

The submitted bill has envisaged 2.61 quadrillion rials (about $62.14 billion) of incomes, while 3.67 quadrillion rials (about $87.38 billion) of expenses.

Revenues from exporting oil, gas, and gas condensate are estimated at 454.9 trillion rials (about $10.83 billion), down 66 percent from 1.37 quadrillion rials (about $32.61 billion) approved in the current year’s budget.

Tax incomes are predicted to be 1.95 quadrillion rials (about $46.42 billion), rising 27 percent from 1.72 quadrillion rials (about $40.95 billion) envisaged in the present year’s budget.

Like the current year’s budget, the next year’s proposed budget requires the government to pay 20 percent of its oil revenues to the National Development Fund (NDF).

The main characteristic of the next year's budget bill which makes it different from previous years' budget bills, is the impact of the U.S. sanctions on the country's economy and the consequent considerations which have been taken into account in preparing it.

The next year’s budget bill has been modified in terms of resources, expenditures, policies, and objectives, considering the resistance against the U.S. sanctions.

In resources, the government has tried to have the least dependence on oil resources in the history of the country’s economy.

The budget bill was submitted under a condition that the next year is predicted to be one of the toughest years in terms of economy for the government and country, as the U.S. intensified sanctions are limiting Iran’s sources of revenue.

Although Planning and Budget Organization has announced that the budget bill has been prepared based on the economic realities of the country, and its main characteristic is considering the impact of the U.S. sanctions on Iran’s economy, the bill has drawn many criticisms specially by the private sector, as the Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Gholam-Hossein Shafe’i believes that there will be the risk of budget deficit in the next year.

MA/MA

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