Economy, Sci & Tech

Sci-Tech Share in Next Budget

Sci-Tech Share in Next Budget
Sci-Tech Share in Next Budget

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and its affiliates are to receive 3.7 quadrillion rials ($124 million at official exchange rate) as part of the government's budget for the new fiscal year (starting March 20, 2016).

President Hassan Rouhani submitted the drafts of the next year's budget and Iran’s sixth five-year development plan (2016-21) to the parliament on Sunday, hours after sanctions on Iran’s economy were lifted.

The budget allocated for the ministry's expenditure is 718 billion rials ($23.8 million) which will be allocated from national resources, Tasnim News Agency reported.

From the sources designated for the national ICT sector, 701 billion rials ($23.2 million) are expected to be allocated to the ICT sector. In other words, the total amount allocated to this sector would stand at nearly 1.4 quadrillion rials ($47 million). Other affiliated organizations to receive a budget share include Iranian Space Research Center, Iranian Space Agency, Information Technology Research Center, Iran's Post Company and the Communications Regulatory Authority, to name a few.    

The budget allocated to the National Center for Cyberspace for the coming year has increased by 24% compared with the corresponding amount of this year.

Last year, the center sought 26.8 billion rials ($890,000) while the figure for this year stands at 33 billion rials ($1.1 million).  

The budget draft states that the government expects to receive 1 quadrillion rials ($35.4 million) by increasing tariffs on short message services, telephone subscriptions and debts of telecoms operators to the state, so a sharp increase in these rates is likely in the following year.  

  6th Development Plan

President Rouhani also submitted the draft for Iran's sixth five-year economic development plan (2016-21) and some of the responsibilities laid out for the telecoms sector include improving Iran's ranking in the field of electronic government and reducing the  presence of public in state offices by 50%, IRNA reported.

To this end, all state bodies, including military organizations and the police force, have been told to digitize their services by the end of the third year of the plan. Governmental organizations have been encouraged to seek assistance from private firms in this area.

Ideally, this measure will eradicate the need for maintaining archives of documents and files. Integrating the national information network, starting electronic treasury operations and establishing electronic standardizing systems are other duties outlined by the draft plan.

The draft also stipulates that the ministry cooperate with Management and Planning Organization to develop the system for measuring the application of information technology in most Iranian sectors.

To increase Iran's share of the bandwidth market, the ministry has been advised to seek business partners and attract investment for fiber optic and infrastructure projects in the fields of telecoms and space science.