Iran: President announces $47 billion annual budget, counters cruel US sanction

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has on Tuesday, announced a $47 billion annual budget with also an increase spending on a lower budget groups, saying that the US sanctions would affects citizens’ lives and economic growth but would not bring Iranian government to its knees.

Earlier in May, the United States President Donald Trump has pulled out the US from its multilateral nuclear deal with Iran and had re-imposed sanctions on Iran with including over Iranian crude oil industry.

According to news reports, while delivering a speech in parliament, Rouhani said: “America’s goal is to bring Iran’s Islamic system to its knees … and it will fail in this, but sanctions will no doubt affect people’s lives, and the country’s development and economic growth.”

Rouhani has produced the value of a nominally balanced draft budget, but excluded the increased spending of the state enterprises. The value was about 4,700 trillion rials for the upcoming Iranian year that’s starts from March 21.

The proposed budget figure is much larger than 3,700 trillion rials that was proposed for 2018 by Rouhani, but however, the new budget is much effectively worth around half of this year due to the weakening of the Iranian currency.

The proposed budget is worth around $47 billion under an unofficial exchange rate which is used over the free market.

Rouhani said pensioners and state employees would be provided with an increased about 20 percent pay next year, and also the budget included a $14 billion subsidized rate which is less than half of what market would now provide at cheap princes goods such as medicine and food.

Iranian official said the proposed 2019 budget was designed in order to provide and fulfill the basic needs of a pensioner, low-income groups and including state employees, and also to support Iranian employment and production system.

Officials said they are seeking to relaunch thousands of stalled projects in Iran with taking help from few private investors.

Rouhani said: “If the private sector was active in the country … and if the budget did not rely heavily on oil, the impact of sanctions would have been much less.”

A separate draft budget at about $127 billion was allocated to the banks, state companies and institution. The draft budget has to pass by parliament and to be approved by cleric body before it becomes a law.

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