Economy, Domestic Economy

Gov't Has Not Pinned Hopes on Sanctions Removal

Gov't Has Not Pinned Hopes on Sanctions RemovalGov't Has Not Pinned Hopes on Sanctions Removal

First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri says the government has not pinned its hopes on the removal of economic sanctions imposed by the West over the country's nuclear energy program, Tasnim News Agency reported.

"The cabinet has drafted different economic plans depending on whether or not the sanctions are relaxed or tightened," he said on Sunday, addressing a gathering of governors in the ministry of interior.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Jahangiri criticized what he called "mismanagement in the implementation of the Subsidy Reform Plan", noting that the payment of cash subsidies has imposed a heavy burden on the government.

The Subsidy Reform Plan, proposed by the previous administration and passed by the parliament in January 2010, was aimed at reducing subsidies on food and energy with targeted social assistance and payment of cash to all Iranians. But according to Jahangiri, the government is running short of resources to pay the cash subsidies despite a recent hike in energy prices last week.

"Even with the recent hike in fuel prices, the government's revenue from the increase in energy prices currently stands at around 340 trillion rials ($11.9 billion). This is while the payment of cash subsidies alone amounts to more than 400 trillion rials ($14 billion) per year," said Jahangiri.

Recently, the government revoked monthly subsidized quotas of cheaper fuel and is now selling it for a single price of 10,000 rials (30 cents).