Iran Parliament Rejects Framework of Rouhani’s Proposed Budget

The Iranian Parliament on Sunday disapproved the framework of the budget proposed by the Rouhani administration for the upcoming fiscal year (March 2018-19).

A total of 120 lawmakers voted against while 83 were in favour of the budget proposed by the government, whose figures had been revised by the Parliament’s Budget Commission.

Nine MPs also abstained, according to a report by IRNA.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said the budget commission has 72 hours to revise the bill and present it to the chamber.

The budget (joint) commission is a parliamentary body responsible for reviewing the budget bill as well as the five-year economic development plans proposed by the government before its final ratification. President Hassan Rouhani presented the budget bill to parliament on December 10, according to Financial Tribune.

Among key amendments proposed by the commission to the budget bill were keeping gasoline price unchanged, setting average oil prices at $55 a barrel and fixing the official rate of the US dollar at 35,000 rials, freezing salaries of authorities, setting the ceiling for pay increases at 18%, banning any increase in tariffs, duties and costs of services provided by organizations of the executive branch and tax exemption for monthly wages below 23 million rials ($522) for civil servants and 18 million rials ($409) for guilds.

According to Larijani, the commission has only one opportunity to review the budget bill and the revised bill will be discussed on February 3.

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