Iran General NewsIran MPs give final nod to hiked $368bln budget

Iran MPs give final nod to hiked $368bln budget

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ImageAFP: Iran's parliament on Monday gave its final approval to a 368-billion-dollar budget for the year to March 2011, a week after it had cut the outlay by 20 billion dollars, state media reported. ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — Iran's parliament on Monday gave its final approval to a 368-billion-dollar budget for the year to March 2011, a week after it had cut the outlay by 20 billion dollars, state media reported.

The final budget outlay for the year ahead is what was originally proposed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But last week MPs passed a 347-billion-dollar budget by blocking a key proposal by Ahmadinejad to give the government 40 billion dollars in anticipated savings from a partial roll-back of subsidies on energy goods.

Lawmakers voted on March 9 to give the president only 20 billion dollars out of his proposed 40, saying the scrapping of subsidies would lead to a further rise in inflation.

It was unclear on Monday from where the government planned to generate the extra 20 billion dollars that helped hike the final budget outlay to 368 billion dollars.

Iran earns 80 percent of its total revenues from oil exports.

The budget for the 12 months to March 2011 is marked by the start of a major plan to scrap costly subsidies on energy goods that directly or indirectly cost the government as much as 100 billion dollars a year.

Economists have strongly criticised Ahmadinejad for policies they say have created a highly inflationary economy since his first term as president began in 2005.

Removing the subsidies is to be a gradual process due for completion by the March 2015 end of Iran's fifth five-year development plan.

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