Economy, Business And Markets

Gov’t to Focus on Interest Rate Cuts

Owing to the importance of bank interest rates for realizing the main goals of Iranian economy, decreasing the rates will play a significant role in the second term of President Hassan Rouhani’s administration, the first vice president said.

“Bank interest rates must change in line with the inflation rate. It must reach a figure that will assist the production sector and not act as an obstacle to development,” Es’haq Jahangiri was also quoted as saying by Tasnim News Agency.

“Therefore, one of the main agendas of the administration will be to correct the bank interest rates,” he told an event held to celebrate the Industry and Mine National Day.

Top-tier officials and pundits alike have been increasingly speaking about the necessity of reducing the rates, which are currently set at 18% following a directive last year by the Money and Credit Council but offered at around 20%.

Jahangiri’s comments echo those of the president who had recently underscored the importance of reforming the banking sector and referring to it as the main agenda of his next administration. The official also referred to the recent landmark $4.8 billion deal signed days ago between Iran and the French energy giant Total S.A. to develop Phase 11 of the South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf, saying a number of critics have been seeking to highlight its negative aspects.

What matters, he added, is that the deal was signed after a year and a half of research work and tens of meetings, and that a “major French company has braved the risk and decided to enter the Iranian market”.

Jahangiri emphasized that the deal is not in contrast with national interests, noting that the administration has even sent the deal to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani to ensure it is in line with the law.


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