MPs approve general outlines of national budget bill

TEHRAN, March 8 (MNA) -- The Iranian parliament has approved the general outlines of the national budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year, which was proposed by the administration.

During a Majlis session on Monday, the national budget bill for Iranian calendar year 1389 (starts March 21, 2010) was put to a vote and 151 MPs out of 226 MPs who were present voted in favor of it and the generalities of the bill were approved.


After the approval of the general outlines of the bill, the MPs commenced work on the examination of the details of some articles in a process that will continue for the next few days.


On January 24, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad submitted the administration’s $368 billion national budget bill to the Majlis.


The bill was examined thoroughly by the Majlis special committee for studying the budget bill before it was presented to MPs for final approval.


The Majlis special committee decided to decrease the national budget to $347 billion, but approved the administration’s decision to estimate an oil price of $65 per barrel for the period from March 2010 to March 2011.


The committee did not approve the administration’s decision to calculate $40 billion in revenues from subsidy cut savings and lowered the amount to $20 billion.


However, the move was strongly opposed by the administration.  


On Monday, MPs commented on the annual budget bill.


Budget bill should be rewritten


MP Ahmad Tavakkoli, who has long been critical of the administration’s economic policies, said the national budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year should be redrafted.


The bill should be redrafted because it has not been drawn up in line with the country’s major plans, such as the five-year development plans and the 20-year Outlook Plan (2005-2025), he added.


He also proposed that for the first quarter of the next Iranian calendar year, the country’s executive affairs should be managed based on the current year’s budget plan. 


National budget plan will be problematic    


MP Elyas Naderan of the Majlis Economic Committee has criticized the new national budget plan and has warned that the national economy will face serious repercussions if the plan is implemented.


The budget bill is fraught with problems and cannot be implemented, he opined. 


The national budget plan, which has been preliminarily ratified, has given the administration an unwarranted free rein to act as it sees fit, and this bill “is not anything like a budget plan and does not allow for oversight,” he added.   





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