Curbs on Oil Role in National Budget

Curbs on Oil Role in National BudgetCurbs on Oil Role in National Budget

Oil revenues constituted approximately 50 percent of the funds in the national budget for the past three years, but reliance on such earnings has fortunately decreased to 25 percent in the budget for the upcoming year (starts March 21), Majlis speaker Ali Larijani said late on Monday.

"We continue to strive toward excluding oil revenues from the budget, and instead use crude export earnings to invest in infrastructure," he said, underlining heavy reliance on oil revenues as a "malaise", Shana news agency reported.

Given the pattern of fluctuations in oil prices in recent times, the government drafted next year's budget based on $50-per-barrel oil. Larijani estimated that increase in oil revenues in the second half of the upcoming year would save some $17,000 billion in resources which would be invested in national development projects.

Earlier in March, parliament members approved a 8.449 trillion-rial ($304 billion) budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year. The budget allocated for infrastructural projects has increased by 40 percent, in line with the general policies of the Fifth Five Year Economic Development Plan (2011-2016), according to government spokesperson Mohammad Bagher Nobakht.

The speaker added that economic growth is anticipated at around 2 percent, growth in investment 4 percent, and inflation at approximately 14 percent in the upcoming year.