Iran''s USD 524b budget to boost industries, curb inflation

Tehran, Feb 22 (MNA) Iranian President MahmoudAhmadinejad submitted to Majlis (Parliament) a

5,390-trillion-rial (about USD 524 billion) budget bill forthe next Iranian calendar year that is to start on March 21.

Ahmadinejad told Majlis on Sunday that his government isaiming to reduce Iran''s reliance on oil income, and push aheadwith a major subsidy phase-out. Moreover, he said one of thecharacteristics of the budget is to overcome inflation,poverty and unemployment.

The president briefed the lawmakers on specificcharacteristics of the budget bill, saying the next year''sbudget allocated over 475 trillion rials to developmentprojects.

Ahmadinejad urged lawmakers to swiftly approve thepackage of measures, so he can continue what he refers to ashis drive to reduce social inequality.

The budget bill for the new Iranian calendar yearencompasses measures that give Ahmadinejad the mandate topromote his major economic plans.

The budget will mainly depend on oil and gas exportswhich constitute most of the government revenue as of previousyears.

The draft budget for the next Iranian year, which beginson March 21, was around USD 172 billion, he said. In additionto that, the budget for state-affiliated companies was USD 352billion. Last year the total budget amounted to USD 368billion.

"One of the characteristics of the budget is to narrowthe gap between social classes," he said in a speech broadcastlive on television.

Ahmadinejad said the new budget was "transparent,integrated and simple," adding that the government did notexpect the parliament to alter the bill. (MNA)

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