Education Ministry needs $16b budget: deputy minister

January 13, 2019 - 22:21

TEHRAN – The Ministry of Education has demanded a total budget of 700 trillion rials (nearly $16 billion), while a budget of 563 trillion rials (around $13 billion) has been proposed in the budget bill for the next calendar year (starting on March 21), deputy education minister has said.

This is while, the Ministry received 434 trillion rials (about $10 billion), accounting for 11.3 percent of the national budget for the Iranian current calendar year (March 2018-March 2019), Ali Allahyar Torkaman said, Fars reported on Saturday.

“Compared to the next year’s budget of 563 trillion rials (around $13 billion) constituting 13.4 percent of the total national budget, the amount has increased by 25 percent,” he added.

The national budget bill for the next year, proposed by President Hassan Rouhani to the Majlis on December 24, amounts to 17.03 quadrillion rials (about $405 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials). 

“The Ministry’s staff in the next school year (starting September 22, 2019) will inevitably increase to 957,800, which requires 94 percent of the total budget the Ministry receives,” he lamented.

He went on to explain that education fund must grow to 700 trillion rials (nearly $16 billion), although there is no possibility to provide it from national budget, so it must be supplied from 4 percent of the country’s total gross domestic product.

“The Ministry requires special laws, through which being entitled to exemptions from paying some costs,” he also said.
 “We are drafting a bill in this regard to propose to the Majlis, which will be prepared on the second Iranian calendar month of Ordibehesht (April 21-May 21),” he highlighted.

Torkaman further called on the Majlis (the Iranian parliament) to cooperate on legislating special laws same as the Ministry of Science.
Referring to the parliament's move to exempt schools from paying water and electricity bills, he lamented that schools are not supposed to pay water and gas bills, while the Ministry of Energy resists on electricity bills.