$331m to Help Promote Decentralization

$331m to Help Promote Decentralization$331m to Help Promote Decentralization

The deputy minister of interior for urban and rural affairs announced the allocation of $330 million in the annual budget to smaller towns.

Houshang Khandan-Del said the amount is to facilitate municipalities to offer better services to citizens. Mayors of towns with a population of less than 200,000 would be elected directly by the residents, he added.

Addressing the administrative meeting of Qazvin Province, he said the majority of economic activities are centralized in a “small area” of the country leading to lopsided development.

“It is the same where population density is concerned.  Some regions are overpopulated and several cities will be devastated if the process of migration continues,” he said quoted by ISNA.

 Unbalanced Growth

Khandan-Del noted that growth of unofficial settlements and slums and increase in crime rates are consequences of unbalanced growth and said increase in economic productivity of smaller towns and backward regions is necessary for balanced national growth.

Solving the problems of small cities and towns “is the proper answer to centralization” he pointed out, and advocated decentralization and special attention to issues affecting them.

Khandan-Del stressed the necessity of revising old laws and need for new legislation. “A bill on improving the situation in cities has been proposed to the government. The law on Value Added Tax (VAT) needs revision,” he said.