Economy, Business And Markets

Budget Criticized for Failing to Address Debts

Budget Criticized for  Failing to Address DebtsBudget Criticized for  Failing to Address Debts

The private sector on Tuesday criticized the government for failing to include a specified section in next year’s budget bill to address the rising government debts to contractors.

“Government debts are on the rise, and unfortunately the next budget bill does not include a specified section for the issue, which is of much importance to our economy,” Yahya Ale Es’haq, the head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Trade said. “We demand the government seriously pay attention to this issue.”

In September, the Rouhani administration announced it had plans to repay government debts to contractors as soon as lawmakers approve an interim plan of action aimed at helping the economy out of recession.

The government debt to contractors amounts to 200 trillion rials ($7.5 billion based on the official exchange rate), according to Eghtesad News. The majority of the debt is a legacy from the previous government, officials say.

Ale Es’haq also hailed the government for trying to submit the bill in time, adding that it is a “reasonable and realistic” plan.  

“The government has a realistic understanding about projected revenues and expenses in next year’s (starting March 21, 2015) budget,” he said.

The government has also tried to minimize the impact of the recent decline in oil prices, he noted.

The official urged the government to help get the private sector more involved in national projects as a significant strategy to reduce government’s role in the economy.