Defense budget up by 21% in next year’s bill: Hatami

TEHRAN, Jan. 02 (MNA) – Defense Minister Amir Hatami said Wed. that next year’s budget bill (to come into effect from March 21) has envisioned 21% increase for the development of defense sector.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet session on Wednesday, Defense Minister Amir Hatami said he submitted a report to the cabinet session on the progress of defense projects, particularly those related to the missile program.

He added that the defense ministry was able to realize what it had predicted to accomplish this year, especially with regard to accuracy and power of missiles.

Hatami then maintained that the defense budget will have nearly 21% increase compared to last year, adding that the budget for defense has been envisioned at two levels: one, amounting to 4 trillion rials (about $97 billion) will be allocated from the general budget, and the other level of budget will be granted to the defense ministry only when the government's major resources have been supplied.

Hatami added that if the ministry receives both levels of envisioned budget, the country’s defense sector budget will have a good boost next year compared to the current year.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani submitted the next year's budget bill on Dec. 25, saying that the bill has taken the impact of the US sanctions into consideration.

Head of Planning and Budget Organization Mohammad Bagher Nobakht also said that the government has been required to spend 5 percent of the general budget for developing the country’s defense capabilities.

MS/4502327

News Code 141147

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