Over $300m earmarked for jobless benefits amid pandemic

May 17, 2020 - 18:13

TEHRAN – The Iranian government has allocated 12,860 billion rials (about $306 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) to pay for unemployment benefits amid the coronavirus pandemic that has left many jobless in the country.

Head of Plan and Budget Organization, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, said on Saturday that the lifeline had been made available after the government tapped into the country’s sovereign wealth fund to pay for the costs of the national campaign against the new coronavirus pandemic, Press TV reported.    

Iran has funded various schemes to help the economy recover from nearly two months of closures over the pandemic. Workers have been a special focus of those programs.

Labor minister Mohammad Shariatmadari said on Saturday that around one million firms and enterprises with over 3.2 million workers and staff members had been covered by a government’s cheap loan scheme which is meant to offset the economic impacts of the pandemic.     

Shariatmadari said that the rescue package, which is worth 500 trillion rials (nearly $12 billion), would be allocated to firms and enterprises who have avoided laying off workers since March when the pandemic started in Iran.


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