Majlis wraps up reviewing next year's budget bill

March 8, 2021 - 15:14

TEHRAN - Iranian parliament’s budget review committee on Saturday evening wrapped up its final session for reviewing the details of the national budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year 1400, which starts on March 21, 2021, the spokesman of the committee announced.

According to Rahim Zare’, the bill has now been submitted to the Guardian Council for final approval and the council will present its report on the bill within a week.

Speaking in a press conference on Sunday, the official noted that the Guardian Council report on the bill will be also reviewed in an open session of the parliament next Saturday.

The parliament had rejected the general outlines of the budget bill in early February, urging the government to reform the bill and submit it to the parliament again; after making the necessary amendments, the government resubmitted the bill to the parliament, and Majlis approved the amendments of the national budget bill in mid-February.

After approving the general outlines, the budget review committee has been holding several sessions for reviewing the details of the bill.

The first session of the budget review committee was held on February 20 in which the parliament determined the share of the National Development Fund (NDF) from the country’s oil and gas export revenues in the newly amended budget bill.

Majlis continued to review the details of the national budget bill for the year 1400, in an open session on February 28. This session was mainly focused on the expense aspects of the national budget bill.

The proposed bill for the next fiscal year, first submitted to Majlis in early December 2020, amounted to about 24.357 quadrillion rials (about $579.928 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials), with a 20-percent rise from the current year’s approved budget.

The bill estimated the government’s budget at 9.298 quadrillion rials (about $221.38 billion), with an increase of 47 percent from the figure of the current year. It envisaged 3.175 quadrillion rials (about $75.595 billion) of incomes, while 6.37 quadrillion rials (about $151.666 billion) of expenses.

Revenues from exporting oil, gas, and gas condensate were estimated at 1.99 quadrillion rials (about $47.3 billion), up 323 percent from 454.9 trillion rials (about $10.83 billion), approved in the current year’s budget.

The bill was mainly criticized for being unrealistic about the oil revenues and the government expenses.

In the reformed bill, the government proposed to reduce its expenses by 400 trillion rials (about $9.5 billion) to prevent the need for increasing tax incomes.

It also reduced the NDF resources and increased the ceiling of the incomes from publishing treasury bonds by 530 trillion rials (about $12.6 billion).

“The most important factor in the amendment was the discussion of the subsided foreign currency and the amount of oil revenues; the oil revenues in the amended bill were not changed, and the subsidized foreign currency would still be allocated for essential goods like medicine and crops” Mojgan Khanlou, spokeswoman of the Parliament Budget Committee said.

EF/MA

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