Economy, Business And Markets

Auditor Rejects NDFI Complaint Against CBI

Auditor Rejects NDFI Complaint Against CBI
Auditor Rejects NDFI Complaint Against CBI

A senior audit official refuted recent complaints by the chairman of the National Development Fund of Iran that the Central Bank of Iran has used the NDFI resources for investment purposes, saying the central bank “does not keep a tab on the money” it keeps.

“Whenever NDFI demands its assets the central bank will provide it without delay,” Head of Audit Organization Akbar Soheilipour told a press conference at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance on Sunday, ISNA reported.

NDFI Chaiman Seyyed Safdar Hosseini had complained in a recent meeting with members of Tehran Chamber of Commerce that the CBI had used money belonging to the fund for its own purposes. Currently, the central bank is responsible for NDFI assets. However, assets of the two bodies will be separated from the beginning of the next Iranian year (starting March 20, 2016) to keep them independent of one another.

“The CBI sees NDFI as a client that has an account in the bank,” said Soheilipour, adding that making use of the fund’s resources would henceforth be contingent upon the owner’s approval. He did not deny reports that in recent years withdrawals had been made from the fund without its direct approval.

Soheilipour, who also is a member of the NDFI supervisory board, said the board had called on the CBI to exercise caution regarding the withdrawal of money from the fund’s resources.

NDFI is Iran’s sovereign wealth fund. Founded in 2011, the organization aims to supplement the Oil Stabilization Fund. It is independent of the government’s budget.

Based on the Fifth Five-year Economic Development Plan (2010–2015), 20% of oil income was to be transferred to NDFI and this percentage would increase 3% annually until the end of Fifth Five-year Socio-Economic Development Plan.  In 2011 when NDFI was established, its reserves stood at $24.4 billion that increased to reach $35 billion in 2012. An NDFI official in August announced that the total value of NDFI assets is over $70 billion.