News: Iran Economy

Iran Regime's Parliament Speaker: We Can't Run the Country

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NCRI Staff

NCRI - According to Iranian regime’s Parliament Speaker, there’s no sign of prosperity in Iran’s economy and the proposed government budget is not even enough for running the country, let alone shaking up the country’s sluggish economy.

“The country’s total income, coming from oil, tax and other sources of revenue, hardly reaches 300 billion thousand tomans (nearly $70 billion). So, the country’s current expenditure should be limited as much”, says Ali Larijani.

Larijani implicitly acknowledges that this is not enough for funding the country’s construction programs. Besides, as Larijani points out, there’s no money left in the country’s National Development Fund, either, with which the construction projects could be funded. That’s why the government is trying to make up for its budget deficit by resorting to principle 44 of the constitution, which allows the government to sell public companies for this purpose. “Nonetheless”, says Larijani, “there’s not much left for sale, so the government has turned to releasing bonds instead, which in turn will lead to increased public debt.”

Larijani says that it’s not possible to run the country with the current budget and that the country’s public sector has grown fatter while the ministries of education and science as well as the armed forces are imposing heavy costs on the country’s weak economy.

Regime’s house speaker then points to pension funds, saying that they’re in no better condition than other parts of the country’s economy and that those funds are now being funded from the current budget, which won’t be possible in the long run.

“The current status is not going to help improve the country’s economy”, says Larijani.

Also in this regard, regime’s Attorney General ‘Mohammad-Jafar Montazeri’ has spoken on sidelines of a conference held in Tehran to discuss how to combat smuggling of goods and currency.

Acknowledging that the task force to combat smuggling of commodities and currency has been run without a boss for a long time, Montazeri said “the country’s current economic status has caused everyone to speak up, from the president to members of the parliament.” He implicitly points to smuggling as one of the reasons for the country’s economic recession, saying “as long as the task force to combat smuggling remains inactive, it won’t be possible to resolve the country’s economic problems.”

Montazeri implicitly acknowledges that the country’s customs offices are actually entry points for smuggled goods, saying that the judiciary is not able to monitor such places. “The judiciary is not responsible for placing restrictions on the country’s customs offices, and the government, in addition to Governmental Discretionary Punishments Organization, should play a key role in this regard”, says Montazeri.

According to official figures, smuggled goods account for more than 90 percent of the country’s imports, so that $40 billion worth of smuggled goods are imported through the country’s customs offices and official border checkpoints, all of which are controlled by the country’s armed forces, the Revolutionary Guards in particular.

Revolutionary Guard’s Fars news agency has quoted Mohammad-Jafar Montazeri on Monday December 18 as saying ”when we see that some officials and those who need to compassionately combat smuggling are somehow involved in it -be it themselves or their children and affiliates- then how could we expect that our fight against smuggling yield any results?”

Pointing to continuous decrease in the country’s construction spending, state-run ILNA news agency writes “at best, Iran’s construction spending next year will not be 78 billion thousand tomans, as specified in the budget bill, but it would only be around eight thousand billion, or less than two billion dollars, as acknowledged by the Central Bank.” This, according to ILNA, means bankruptcy of building contractors and their refusal to pay their workers, which in turn will lead to an even bigger army of unemployed.

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