Iran could face a $71b budget deficit in current fiscal year: MP

August 22, 2021 - 13:33

TEHRAN – Head of the Iranian Parliament’s Economic Committee has said the country could face up to three quadrillion rials (about $71.4 billion) of budget deficit in the current Iranian calendar year (ends on March 21, 2022), Mehr News Agency reported on Sunday.

“There is a concern that the budget deficit at the end of the year reaches 250,000 to 300,000 billion tomans (2.5-3 quadrillion rials) and we should think of arrangements to manage this deficit,” Mohammadreza Pour-Ebrahimi said in an interview with state TV.

The official noted that the government’s expected incomes in taxes and treasury bonds have been almost completely realized, however the realization of the target incomes in the customs (35 percent), oil sales (15 percent) and revenues from state-owned companies are not acceptable.

Stating that the previous government neglected to use the opportunity to sell petroleum products, Pour-Ebrahimi said: "It is interesting for people to know that our oil exports are sanctioned and not the oil products."

The official further noted that the parliament expects the new government to change its approach in crude sales and focuses more on selling oil products.

Earlier this month, Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi announced the current Iranian calendar year’s amended national budget bill to be implemented by the Planning and Budget Organization (PBO).

President Raisi sent the approved amendments to PBO on August 11.

Majlis (Iranian parliament) had approved the amended national budget bill for the current calendar year in mid-March.

The amended bill amounted to about 28.823 quadrillion rials (about $686.261 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials).

The proposed bill, first submitted to Majlis in early December 2020, was 24.357 quadrillion rials (about $579.928 billion), 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), while the amended figure is 13.733 quadrillion rials (about $326.976 billion).

The parliament’s budget review committee had wrapped up its final session for reviewing the details of the national budget bill for the current year in early March.

According to Rahim Zare, the spokesman of the parliament’s budget committee, the bill then was submitted to the Guardian Council for final approval.

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 held several sessions for reviewing the details of the bill.

EF/MA

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